JMA launches website on 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake

The Japan Meteorological Agency has launched a new website on the massive earthquake that devastated the greater Tokyo area in 1923. JMA officials say they hope it will help people learn from the disaster ahead of its 100th anniversary in September.

The website presents photos and data related to the 7.9-magnitude Great Kanto Earthquake, which struck on September 1, 1923.

The temblor destroyed buildings, triggered landslides and tsunami, and caused massive fires that engulfed wide swathes of Tokyo and Yokohama. It left more than 100,000 people dead.

The website's 23 photos reveal the devastation wrought by the quake in Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures as well as in Tokyo. They were taken soon after the earthquake by JMA staff members and others.

A photo taken in front of Tokyo Station shows a cityscape destroyed by fire. Other pictures highlight damage to historic temples in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, and a tsunami-ravaged coastline in Shizuoka Prefecture.

The website also features seismograms and shows the levels of seismic intensity observed in wide-ranging regions from northern to western Japan.

The agency hopes the website will help people learn how to better protect themselves in the event of a big quake and discuss the topic with their families.

JMA officials say they plan to update the website to explain the firestorm phenomenon, which claimed many lives in the wake of the quake, and to show weather conditions at the time of the disaster.