Kobe Earthquake Anniversary: Before And After Photos Show The Sheer Devastation After The Quake

Twenty years ago today, on the morning of Jan. 17 1995, a powerful earthquake hit the Japanese city of Kobe, reducing much of the city and its surrounding regions to rubble. More than 6,400 people lost their lives in the disaster.

Agence France Presse reports that 14,000 people gathered in the port city on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Many of them visited a park that was used as an evacuation center in 1995, bringing flowers and candles to honor the victims.

The before-and-after images below, created by HuffPost Japan to mark the somber anniversary, highlight the devastating scale of destruction caused by the quake.

Nagata-ku Region

(C)神戸市(CC BY 2.1 JP)/Taichiro Yoshino

(C)神戸市(CC BY 2.1 JP)/Taichiro Yoshino

Itami Train Station

(C)時事通信社/Taichiro Yoshino

The Mitsubishi Bank in Hyogo-ku

(C)AP/Taichiro Yoshino

Near The Sannomiya Station

(C)神戸市(CC BY 2.1 JP)/Taichiro Yoshino