RFA NuculaThe 1923 Great Kanto earthquake struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes.

The 1923 Great Kanto earthquake struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes.

 

The quake had a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Õshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kanto region. The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but the 1923 earthquake managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura. The statue slid forward almost two feet.

Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,800 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead. According to the Japanese construction company Kajima Kobori Research's report of September 2005, there were 105,000 confirmed deaths in the 1923 quake.

Over 570,000 homes were destroyed, leaving an estimated 1.9 million homeless. Evacuees were transported by ship from Kanto to as far as Kobe in Kansai. The damage is estimated to have exceeded US$1 billion (or about $14 billion today). There were 57 aftershocks.

Many countries sent assistance and Royal Naval ships from the China Station were quickly on the scene supplying humanitarian aid.

RFA Nucula was sent to be the Station oiler for the Royal Naval ships for 6 months.

 

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