Japan's Kobe Mourns Victims Of 1995 Earthquake

TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th January, 2021) The JaThe Japanese city of Kobe on Sunday held mourning ceremonies for the victims of the 1995 earthquake, broadcast by the NHK tv channel.

Per tradition, every year on this day, thousands of candles were lit at sunrise in one of the city's central parks. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers decide to kindle some of the candles late on Saturday to prevent a mass gathering of people.

Approximately 2,500 people gathered in the park earlier in the day and honored the dead with a moment of silence at 5:46 a.m. locate time (20:46 GMT, Saturday), the hour when the earthquake hit.

This year, the candles were arranged in the number 1.17, symbolizing the tragic date in the city's history, as well as the word ganbaru, which means "to do one's best."

The city is hosting various commemorative events, although their number and scale are limited because of the active state of emergency in the region.

The 7.3-magnitude Kobe earthquake, also known as the Great Hanshin earthquake, occurred on January 17, 1995, becoming one of the most devastating ones in the country's history, taking the lives of 6,434 people, leaving over 300,000 without a home as well as inflicting varying degrees of damage on about 250,000 buildings.