The Great Hanshin earthquake (阪神大震災; Hanshin-daishinsai) measured at 7.2 on the Richter Scale occurred on January 17, 1995 at 5:46am 52 sec in South Hyogo and lasted for approx. 20 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was less than 20 km below Awaji island, near the city of Kobe. 5,477 people lost their life mainly in Kobe. It was the worst earthquake in Japan since the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 which claimed 140,000 lives.
The earthquake is also known under the following names: Kobe, South Hyogo, Hyogo-ken Nanbu, and Great Hanshin-Awaji.