Investigation of damage caused by the Noto Hanto Earthquake in 2007 to cultural properties

Kadomi-ke residence and storehouse damaged by the Earthquake (Tangible Cultural Property Designated by Ishikawa Prefecture)

 An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 occurred on the Noto Peninsula at 9:42 am on March 25, 2007. As a result, large-scale damages occurred near the epicenter, including complete or partial destruction of houses and severing of lifelines. Cultural properties were also no exception to this disaster, and a total of 21 cases of damage to cultural properties have been reported within Ishikawa prefecture (as of April 4, 2007; Ishikawa Prefectural Board of Education).
 The Center for Conservation Science and Restoration conducted on-site investigation concerning damage caused to cultural properties by the Earthquake so that it may obtain immediate understanding of the condition and factors of damage and provide advice for emergency measures and plans for future restoration. Investigation was held from April 16 (Monday) to 18 (Wednesday). Museum objects and architecture within the city of Wajima were investigated.
 At a certain facility for exhibiting cultural properties, urushi lacquer panels that had been hung for display had fallen because the metals used for hanging them had been broken. Many of the buildings and storehouses in the Kuroshima district of Monzenmachi near the epicenter had been completely destroyed, as was the storehouse of a museum.
 Although many investigations, research and measures have been conducted with regard to preventing disaster to cultural properties since the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake, information obtained through these attempts have not been made known throughout the nation, as became evident in this investigation. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo will continue to conduct research concerning disaster prevention and to make more people aware of measures to prevent disaster to cultural properties by actively notifying them of the results of our studies.

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