On Jan. 17, 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe (koh-bay), Japan. Osaka and the ancient city of Kyoto were also severely damaged in the early morning quake.

Kobe, a port city of 1.5 million, was the worst hit, with over 4,600 fatalities and more than 120,000 structures damaged or destroyed. It was Japan's worst earthquake since the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923, which claimed nearly 140,000 lives.