The water and wastewater system experienced damages that were not even expected. Since the earthquake took place in a highly populated area, the outcomes were fatal. Water outages went on in Kobe city for 60 days after the earthquake. This long duration of water outages was caused more by the destruction of buried water pipes. The buried water pipes were highly damaged due to the strong ground shaking and modest ground settlements over widespread built areas. Before the day of the earthquake some replacement of all asbestos cement pipes with ductile iron pipes had been done.
However, the earthquake still caused damage on the ductile iron. The city tried to use buried cisterns for supply of water for fire flows but this too was not effective. There were a lot of fire ignitions, fire spread and a lot of burned structures and deaths due to fire. This was despite that the wind conditions were calm. Fire boats that were operating from Osaka bay were also not effective in fighting the fire which was one kilometer away. There was heavy damage to the wastewater collection pipes.
There was sewage spill from the damaged system. The gas system was severely affected by the earthquake due to lack of coordination thus causing the fire hazards that were experienced. In the medium pressure system 96 failures to the steel pipe, 14 at welded joints, 22 atfledgejoint and 60 at mechanical joints. The railway system was also damaged. The damage was inclusive of derailment of the trains running in the area. There was failure on a large number of viaduct columns. A lot of bridge damage was caused by loading from the embankment behind the abutments.
There was failure on a large number of concrete pole catenary supports. The track damage was caused by ground displacements and a lot of damage occurred to buildings in the station. The Kobe earthquake damaged the highways as well. 60% of all the bridges had some damage. Many people lost their lives because the fire fighters could not be able to access areas of damage. The fire would have been put off but the firefighters could not find their way through the blocked highways and broken bridges. The airport was also highly affected by the earthquake.
The administration building was damaged, and there was loss of elevators temporarily. The following is a picture of some of the effects of the Kobe earthquake. Geology issues associated with the earthquake The earthquake occurred some short distance from the plate margin and therefore it can be considered as an intraplate event.
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