Kobe marks 21 years since killer quake


TOKYO: Japan on Sunday marked the 21st anniversary of a devastating earthquake in the western city of Kobe that killed more than 6,400 people, as bereaved families looked to keep memories of the victims alive. An estimated 9,000 people gathered for an annual early-morning commemoration at a public park in the port city, where a 7.2 magnitude quake hit at 5:46 am on January 17, 1995. It killed 6,434 people and leveled much of the city, forcing the quake-prone nation to conduct major upgrades of its disaster preparedness. Participants held a candlelight vigil and observed a moment of silence at the park, which served as an evacuation center after the 1995 jolt.



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