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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 287-300

Pump Damage in the Hanshin Earthquake

Pump Section, No. 1 Environmental Systems Department, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., 5-1, Marunouchi 2-Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Received 30 June 1998; Revised 3 November 1998

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There was a severe earthquake in the southern area ofHyogo prefecture in Japan on January 17, 1995. In this paper the damage to pump facilities caused by the earthquake, based on field investigation results in the Hanshin (Osaka–Kobe) area is reported. In particular a lot of damage was reported in the pumping facilities for sewage or drainage of storm sewage. This paper also presents recommendations for aseismic design of pump facilities based on the results of the survey.

Some of the kinds ofdamage to pumps were: pump submersion, shaft misalignment, case of pump rotor getting stuck, anchor bolt failure, pump casing cracking, bearing box failure. Most of the damage was fundamentally caused by unequal sinking ofthe building foundation. The damage to the pumps was mainly caused by deformation or collapse of building structures, or by excessive forces to be exerted on the pumps by the piping.

In order to prevent damage to pumps by earthquakes, a study of the earthquake resistance of the whole pumping facility including the pump itself should be made, and appropriate countermeasures and action taken.