Japan on Monday commemorated the 27th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake which killed 6,434 people in 1995.

A massive 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the western Japanese city of Kobe bringing disaster in the region with lives and properties lost.

Three people still remain missing from the disaster while around 10,000 others were severely injured and some 640,000 buildings were affected.

Early Monday, the victims’ families and natives observed a moment of silence at 5:46 a.m. (2046GMT Sunday) in the city.

It was this time on Jan. 17, 1995, that the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck the port city in Hyogo province and neighboring areas, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

The COVID-19, however, has restricted the number of people and events to mark national days in Japan.

People prayed at the memorial event at a park in Kobe and laid flowers in memory of the victims. They also lit about 3,000 bamboo lanterns.

Relatives recalled memories of their loved ones who lost their lives in the disaster.

Chizu Takai, 60, who lost her son in the quake, said: “I would like to live life to the full. That would make my son happy, I believe.”

“We will continue to deal with the issue of how to pass on experiences and lessons from the earthquake to the next generation without losing them to time as the number of citizens who did not experience the disaster is increasing,” said Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto.

Hisamoto said Kobe’s experiences of post-quake reconstruction will contribute to the know-how of other regions of the country.

“The city will continue contributing to risk reduction and disaster management, health and safety in other municipalities and regions.

“We will learn from experiences from the quake and advance preparations for disasters to come,” he added.

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