The City of Kobe recently hosted a group of journalists to show how it's recovered from a disastrous earthquake 22 years ago.
I went along to learn more about Seattle's Sister City, as the Kobe-Seattle Sister City Association is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year.
What we saw was a city that not only recovered, but is now preparing for the next catastrophic quake. Dr. Haruo Hayashi of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University and other scientists estimate the probability of a magnitude 8 or 9 mega quake occurring in the next three decades at the Nankai Trough is 60 to 70 percent. The Trough sits offshore in the Pacific.
The City of Kobe is strengthening its infrastructure but more importantly, preparing its residents to survive a potential earthquake, and to a lesser extent, a tsunami.
There are valuable lessons to be learned from Japan's experience, especially since Washington state sits along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is capable of generating mega quakes.