1948 Fukui earthquake

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1948 Fukui earthquake
Fukui Castle04bs4592.jpg
A collapsed stone wall at Fukui Castle
Japan natural location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.jpg
UTC  time 1948-06-28 07:13:31
ISC  event 897413
Local dateJune 28, 1948 (1948-06-28)
Local time 16:13:31 JST
Magnitude 6.8 Mw [1]
Depth 10 km (6.2 mi) [1]
Epicenter 36°10′N136°13′E / 36.16°N 136.22°E / 36.16; 136.22 Coordinates: 36°10′N136°13′E / 36.16°N 136.22°E / 36.16; 136.22 [1]
Type Intraplate earthquake
Areas affected Japan
Total damage US$ 1 billion [2]
Max. intensity MM IX [2]
Shindo 6
Casualties 3,769 dead [3] [4] [5]
22,203 injured [4] [5]

The 1948 Fukui earthquake(福井地震,Fukui jishin) occurred in Fukui Prefecture, Japan. The magnitude 6.8 quake struck at 5:13:31 p.m.(JDT) on June 28. The strongest shaking occurred in the city of Fukui, where it was recorded as 6 (equivalent to the current 7) on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale. The shock occurred near the town of Maruoka. [6]

Fukui Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Fukui Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Fukui.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale Japanese earthquake measurements

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Seismic Intensity Scale is a seismic intensity scale used in Japan to categorize the intensity of local ground shaking caused by earthquakes.



This earthquake was caused by a strike-slip fault that was unknown until this earthquake. The fault stretches from Kanazu to Fukui, [7] 25 km (16 mi) long, and was later named the "Fukui Earthquake Fault". Shaking was felt as far as Mito in the east, and Saga in the west.

Mito, Ibaraki Special city in Kantō, Japan

Mito is the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. As of September 2015, the city has an estimated population of 270,953, and a population density of 1,250 persons per km2. Its total area is 217.32 km2.


Daiwa department store after the earthquake Daiwa Department Store after Fukui Earthquake.JPG
Daiwa department store after the earthquake
Daiwa department store after the earthquake Fukui Earthquake 1948 - damaged building.jpg
Daiwa department store after the earthquake

Damage was most reported in the Fukui plain, where the building collapse rate was more than 60%, since shaking became larger due to it being an alluvial plain, and many of the buildings were just built after the war and a little unstable.

Alluvial plain

An alluvial plain is a largely flat landform created by the deposition of sediment over a long period of time by one or more rivers coming from highland regions, from which alluvial soil forms. A floodplain is part of the process, being the smaller area over which the rivers flood at a particular period of time, whereas the alluvial plain is the larger area representing the region over which the floodplains have shifted over geological time.

At the time many people were cooking so after the earthquake many fires spread. Since the roads and the waterworks were damaged it took 5 days to put out the fires and so the fires caused devastating damage.

Even though the Daiwa Department Store collapsed, the Fukui Bank building right next to it had no significant damage. It is thought to have been because the Fukui Bank building had about 500 deep foundation pipes 10 meters deep in the ground.

Deep foundation type of building foundation

A deep foundation is a type of foundation that transfers building loads to the earth farther down from the surface than a shallow foundation does to a subsurface layer or a range of depths.

Almost all of the farmers' houses in the epicenter area collapsed, but most of the farmers were outside so there were not many casualties.

Total damage [4] [5] [8]
PrefectureCasualtiesDamaged houses
DeathsInjuriesCollapsedHalf collapsedBurned
Fukui 3,72821,75035,38210,5423,851
Ishikawa 414538021,2740

Damage in Fukui City

Total damage in Fukui City
Collapsed buildings12,270
Half collapsed buildings3,158
Burnt buildings2,069
Building collapse rate79.0%
Burnt area2,120,600 m²


At the time, it was the deadliest earthquake after the Pacific War (now superseded by the Great Hanshin earthquake and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami). This earthquake killed 3769 people, mainly in Sakai City (then part of Fukui City), where the death rate was more than 1%.

Earthquake Shaking of the surface of the earth caused by a sudden release of energy in the crust

An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities. The seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. The word tremor is also used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling.

Pacific War theatre of war in the Second World War

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, and in China.

Great Hanshin earthquake 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan

The Great Hanshin earthquake, or Kobe earthquake, occurred on January 17, 1995 at 05:46:53 JST in the southern part of Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, when combined with Osaka, known as Hanshin. It measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum intensity of 7 on the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale. The tremors lasted for approximately 20 seconds. The focus of the earthquake was located 17 km beneath its epicenter, on the northern end of Awaji Island, 20 km away from the center of the city of Kobe.

Property damage

Maruoka Castle castle

Maruoka Castle is a hirayama-style Japanese castle located in the Maruoka neighbourhood of the city of Sakai, Fukui Prefecture, in the Hokuriku region of Japan. It also called Kasumi-ga-jō due to the legend that whenever an enemy approaches the castle, a thick mist appears and hides it. Built at the end of the Sengoku period, the castle occupied by a succession of daimyō of Maruoka Domain under the Edo period Tokugawa shogunate, the site is now a public park noted for its sakura.

Hosorogi Station railway station in Awara, Fukui prefecture, Japan

Hosorogi Station is a railway station on the Hokuriku Main Line in the city of Awara, Fukui Prefecture, Japan, operated by the West Japan Railway Company.

Awaraonsen Station railway station in Awara, Fukui prefecture, Japan

Awaraonsen Station is a railway station on the Hokuriku Main Line in the city of Awara, Fukui, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company.



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  1. 1 2 3 ISC (2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre
  2. 1 2 http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/results?eq_0=3884&t=101650&s=13&d=22,26,13,12&nd=display
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  4. 1 2 3 http://www.jishin.go.jp/main/yosokuchizu/chubu/p18_fukui.htm#kakojishin
  5. 1 2 3 http://www.jishin.go.jp/main/yosokuchizu/chubu/p17_ishikawa.htm#kakojishin
  6. Japan Meteorological Agency [ permanent dead link ] Shindo Database Search Retrieved August 16, 2008
  7. http://namaz.ge.fukui-nct.ac.jp/ronnbunn/date/h1/h1.htm
  8. 宇佐美龍夫『新編日本被害地震総覧』東京大学出版会、1987年