Residents in the 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 the surrounding areas were struck by the destructive temblor.

Locals said their thoughts were with the people affected by the magnitude 7.6 quake that hit the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on New Year's Day.

Kobe Mayor Kizo Hisamoto pledged his city's full support to areas devastated by the central Japan quake, saying it will tap into lessons learned in 1995.

In one commemorative event on Tuesday, volunteers gathered in a local park in Kobe, with paper and bamboo lanterns arranged to form the word tomoni (together) to demonstrate their support and understanding for central Japan.

"I want people from my generation and those after to view the lessons from the Hanshin earthquake as something that can happen to them," said university student Ao Ishizuka, who helped out at the event.