Residents in the western Japan city of Kobe and its vicinity showed solidarity with those affected by the earthquake that hit central Japan earlier this month, as they commemorated on Wednesday the 29th anniversary of the magnitude-7.3 Great Hanshin Earthquake that killed 6,434 people in their region.

Ceremonies were held across Hyogo Prefecture, with residents and victims' families observing a moment of silence at 5:46 a.m., the time on Jan. 17, 1995, when Kobe and surrounding areas were struck by the destructive temblor.

People observe a moment of silence in a park in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, on Jan. 17, 2024, at 5:46 a.m., the time that the Great Hanshin Earthquake struck in 1995, killing more than 6,000 people in the western Japan city and its vicinity. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto pledged his city's full support to areas in Ishikawa Prefecture's Noto Peninsula that were devastated by the M7.6 quake on New Year's Day, saying it will tap into lessons learned in 1995.

At Kobe East Park, paper and bamboo lanterns were arranged to form the word "tomoni" (together) to demonstrate their support to people struggling with the most recent disaster.

Gatherers offered a silent prayer at 4:10 p.m., when the massive earthquake rocked the Sea of Japan coastal areas on Jan. 1, leaving more than 230 people dead.

Some said it brought back the memories of the Kobe quake, while others hoped for an early recovery, expecting that the experiences of the 1995 quake would be fully utilized in the Noto Peninsula quake.

"I hope lessons are learned from past experiences. I will keep praying as long as I live," said Kazuyo Adachi, a 52-year-old housewife in Osaka, who was affected by the Kobe earthquake.

Kotaro Nakashima, 19, said he decided to join a commemoration event in Kobe after the occurrence of the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

"I have not experienced a disaster but I want to deliver the importance of supporting each other when such a thing occurs," the Kobe resident said..

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