1948 Fukui earthquake

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1948 Fukui earthquake
Fukui Castle04bs4592.jpg
A collapsed stone wall at Fukui Castle
1948 Fukui earthquake is located in Japan
1948 Fukui earthquake
UTC time
Date * June 28, 1948 (1948-06-28)
Origin time * 16:13:31 JST (UTC+09:00)[1]
Local date
Local time
Magnitude 6.8 Mw[1]
Depth 10 km (6.2 mi)[1]
Epicenter 36°10′N 136°13′E / 36.16°N 136.22°E / 36.16; 136.22Coordinates: 36°10′N 136°13′E / 36.16°N 136.22°E / 36.16; 136.22[1]
Type Intraplate earthquake
Areas affected Japan
Total damage US$ 1000 million[2]
Max. intensity MM IX[2]
Shindo 6
Casualties 3,769 dead[3][4][5]
22,203 injured [4][5]
Deprecated  See documentation.

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]


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.


Daiwa department store after the earthquake
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.

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.

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]
Prefecture Casualties Damaged houses
Deaths Injuries Collapsed Half collapsed Burned
Fukui 3,728 21,750 35,382 10,542 3,851
Ishikawa 41 453 802 1,274 0
Total 3,769 22,203 36,184 11,816 3,851

Damage in Fukui City

Total damage in Fukui City
Dead 930
Collapsed buildings 12,270
Half collapsed buildings 3,158
Burnt buildings 2,069
Building collapse rate 79.0%
Fires 24
Burnt area 2,120,600 m²


At the time, it was the deadliest earthquake after the Pacific War (now preceded 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%.

Property damage



See also


  1. ^ a b c d ISC (2015), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900–2009), Version 2.0, International Seismological Centre 
  2. ^ a b http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/results?eq_0=3884&t=101650&s=13&d=22,26,13,12&nd=display
  3. ^ http://www.seisvol.kishou.go.jp/eq/higai/higai-1995.html
  4. ^ a b c http://www.jishin.go.jp/main/yosokuchizu/chubu/p18_fukui.htm#kakojishin
  5. ^ a b c 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

External links

  • Earthquake in Japan: June 1948 – slideshow by Life magazine
  • The International Seismological Centre has a bibliography and authoritative data for this event.
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