|Yokohama after the quake.|
The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake (関東大震災, Kantō daishinsai ) struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū 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 7.9 on the Richter scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay.
This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but it managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura which was over 60 km away from the epicenter. The statue slid forward almost two feet.
Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,000 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead. Damages from this natural disaster were the greatest sustained by Prewar Japan. In 1960, government of Japan declared September 1, the anniversary of the quake, as an annual "Disaster Prevention Day."
According to the Japanese construction company Kajima Kobori Research's report of September 2005, there were 105,000 confirmed deaths in the 1923 quake.