Efforts are underway to preserve records of the massive earthquake that struck western Japan's Kobe area 29 years ago by digitizing videos taken by citizens of the aftermath of the disaster.

The Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, based in Kobe, began a project last September to digitize citizens' analog videotapes that recorded the aftermath of the Jan. 17, 1995, quake.

"Amateur videos are highly valuable information, as they include scenes from areas that were not covered by the media," said Hitomi Yamasaki, an official at the institution. "We hope people bring them in before they are thrown away."