After the big one earthquake which occurred at noon on Monday (local time) in the central town of Plasita de Morelos Mexicothe seismology professor Gerasimos Papadopoulos he remembered an even more… emblematic – as he describes it – that “hit” Japan in 1923.
In more detail, in his post on social media, he points out that the earthquake that occurred on September 1, 1923 had a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale and hit the Kanto province, i.e. the greater Tokyo-Yokohama area.
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The damage caused was enormous, while the widespread fires that followed resulted in the loss of 141,000 lives.
Thus, since 1960, in Japan September 1 has been established as the Day Against Natural Disasters and remains a day of remembrance for one of the most iconic earthquakes in modern world history.
More specifically, the earthquake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and hit the populous Kanto province on September 1, 1923. Kanto province is located on the island of Honshu and includes large urban areas such as the capital Tokyo and Yokohama.
The earthquake resulted in the deaths of 141,000 people, while large fires that broke out and burned for two days worsened the situation and greatly increased the already extensive damage, which amounted to $1 billion ($14 billion in today’s dollars). 590,000 houses were completely destroyed and two million people were left homeless.
And while in the first hours after the earthquake the situation was still confused, a rumor spread through the area that some Korean immigrants were engaged in looting, arson and acts of sabotage (Korea was then a slave of Japan). Almost immediately a pogrom broke out against them, involving authorities and civilians.
The dead, according to independent observers, reached 10,000, although the authorities announced only 231. Among the dead were Chinese, as well as Japanese speaking rare dialects, whom the raiders mistook for Koreans. The police and the imperial army found an opportunity in the unrest to eliminate many of the country’s leading socialists, communists and anarchist activists.