How Big Was the Great Quake of Japan and How Many People Were Killed?

Japan has suffered many earthquakes during its history.

One quake that occurred in this century is known as the “Great Quake” because of the great damage it did to the Tokyo region, the most populous in Japan.

On September 1, 1923, a powerful earthquake and the fires that followed it destroyed most of Tokyo and the nearby city of Yokohama.

Some parts of the cities were left in complete ruins, and an area of 25 square miles was burned to the ground. More than a half-million homes were destroyed by the quake. The damage was estimated at some $2.8 billion!

The 1923 earthquake in Tokyo was of the same strength as the quake that struck San Francisco in 1906. But while the San Francisco quake cost the lives of fewer than 1,000 people, the earthquake in the heavily populated Tokyo region may have killed as many as 200,000 people.

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