The Great Hanshin earthquake, or more commonly known as the Kobe earthquake, occurred January 17, 1995 at around 5:46 am local time. It took place in the southern part of the island, in the southern part of the Hyogoken-Nanbu region of Japan. The earthquake caused a staggering $100 billion in damages, killing roughly 6434 people, (although you can find many varying numbers of deaths), injuring upwards of 43,000 and destroying roughly 152,000 buildings. This was on of the most damaging earthquakes in the post war era, with destruction being widespread and catastrophic. While the island had a history of earthquakes, the population were generally not prepared for a earthquake of this level of damage. Most of the earthquakes in which major damage had been endured, happened in the mid-1800s or earlier, meaning that a lot has changed in between then and the 1995 earthquake. Most of the prior earthquakes did not happen in large cities like Kobe, and it had been so long since a truly devastating earthquake like it had occurred, that the population wasn’t as ready as they should have been. this was before the widespread use of cellphones, which increased the disconnect between the decision makers in Tokyo and the people who are being affected, in addition to the fact that there were very slow decisions that made reacting in time impossible, in fact, it was reported that the Japanese mafia were among the first on the scene offering assistance. Japan has learned a lot since this quake, it has adapted to be able to respond quicker and use more advanced technology to respond when a quake happens. In addition it upgraded its building codes and redid a lot of old buildings that needed to be redone. In a 2004 earthquake fewer people lost lives however there were still destroyed buildings and landslides. It was however in rural Japan however the response was much different there are no clear protocols in the 1995 earthquake which caused a lot of issues. after the 1995 Kobe earthquake the fire police and the ambulance brigades were interconnected so that neighboring cities could come and help if needed. The immediate response is much better in Japan now as shown also in the 2011 earthquake hitting Tōhoku. the response was much faster and the government reached out to many different resources in order to better help the people on the ground

Rapid changes to the Arctic seafloor noted as submerged permafrost thaws

According to a new study by MBARI researchers, they have provided the first evidence of how the thawing of permafrost, submerged underwater at the edge of the Arctic Ocean, is affecting the seafloor “We know that big changes are happening across the Arctic landscape, but this is the first time we’ve been able to deploy technology to see that changes are happening offshore too… this groundbreaking research has revealed how the thawing of submarine permafrost can be detected, and then monitored once baselines are established.”

Using cell phone GNSS Networks to monitor crustal deformation

It has been discovered that using The Global Navigation Satellite System or GNSS, that is used by a Japanese phone carrier, could be used to enhance monitoring of crustal deformation. These systems are installed at cell phone base stations and can “Rival the precision of data from a government-run GNSS network, while providing more complete geographic coverage.”

Natural disasters hit roughly 1 in 10 American homes in 2021

It has been found that in 2021, 1 in 10 homes in the United States have been affected by a natural disaster. This totals to 14.5 million homes and $57 billion in property damage. Winter storms were the majority of the damage, with 12.7 million homes affected, with wildfires and hurricanes trailing.

Better prediction of megathrust earthquakes

It has been found, that in the next 30 years, a gigantic, Highly destructive megathrust earthquake is predicted to hit the southern part of japan. Research of the of interface between the subducting Philippine Sea plate under the Amirian plate is essential for pinpointing when this earthquake will happen. In analyzing the 2018-2019 Bungo Channel long-term slow slip event, or L-SSE, it was revealed that the 2018-2019 event was shorter than past L-SSEs in this region, it was also bigger in terms of slippage amount and slip velocity, leading experts to believe that a megathrust earthquake will occur, with a 70 to 80% probability in the next 30 years.

Scientists have discovered the source of a 2021 tsunami

In August, 2021 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit near the south Sandwich Islands, which created a tsunami that went across the world.  The epicenter was 47 km under the surface, which should be too deep to create a tsunami, puzzling scientists. It has recently been discovered that it was a group of 5 mini earthquakes in the span of a few minutes, one of which was only 15km  below the surface and measured at a 8.2 magnitude, which is what triggered the tsunami.