Seismo-Watch

Special Earthquake Report No: 01-002
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SOUTHWESTERN INDIA

Ms 7.7 (NEIC)

Mw 7.7 (NEIC), 7.6 (HRV)

01/01/26
03:16:41 (8:46 a.m. local time)
23.40N
70.32E
23.6 km
A

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(Kutch M7.9 earthquake)


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INDIA, January 26 (Seismo-Watch) -- Preliminary data indicates that a severe earthquake measuring Ms 7.7 (NEIC) Mw 7.7 (NEIC) Mw 7.6 (HRV) occurred at 03:16 UTC (8:46 a.m. local time) about 510 miles southwest of Delhi, India in the southwestern province of Gujaret, near the Gulf of Kutch. It was centered in the remote area of Little Rann of Kutch near the small village of Raper, some 120 miles west-northwest of Ahmedabad - the major metropolis of the region. (see maps).
 
The focal point was placed at a shallow depth of about 17 km below the surface and both the NEIC and HRV fault plane solutions indicated predominantly reverse motion (up and over) along a moderately dipping, nearly east-west trending plane, with a slight slight strike-slip component. This quake may have caused surface fault ruptures.
 
The quake caused widespread damage and thousands of people have been killed and injured. Several buildings collapsed throughout western India and the death toll is feared to be in excess of 15,000. Collapsed buildings are also reported in Pakistan and several deaths have occurred in various areas.
 
In Ahmedabad, India several buildings collapsed and thousands of people are believed to have been killed and injured there alone. Pictures show the city dotted with piles of rubble where multistory buildings once stood. Many buildings were pancaked on the floors below and streets are filled with debris that fell from the structures. Many structures remain in unstable conditions and residents and officials are worried about failures from continued aftershocks.
 
The quake hit as India was celebrating Republic Day, the anniversary of its transition to a republic in 1950. While schools and government buildings were closed, people were home relaxing during the holiday and this may have contributed to the high casualty rate. The initial jolt was sharply felt in Delhi and throughout much of India. The tremor was felt as far away as Nepal and Afghanistan.
 
Information and data are still flowing in from the effected regions. See the following links for the most updates information:
 
Press Trust of India (PTI) and The Times of India has the latest information.
Yahoo News has conglomeration of several wire news reports with photos.
International Red Cross / Red Crescent emergency response.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program special earthquake report.
The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) special report.
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) special report.
EERI PRELIMINARY REPORT FROM THE FIELD- February 10, 2001

Aftershocks:
Residents in the region report numerous aftershocks have been felt and it may take days to sort through the seismological data to get a general picture of the activity. Currently, there have been five tremors registering M5.0 or stronger reported by NEIC and EMSC:
 DATE-(UTC)-TIME    LAT    LON     DEP   MAG  Q  COMMENTS
01/01/26 03:33:30  23.16N  69.44E  33.0 5.2 Mb C  SOUTHERN INDIA
01/01/26 03:59:03  23.27N  70.06E  33.0 5.1 Mb C  SOUTHERN INDIA
01/01/26 04:23:44  23.20N  70.42E  10.0 5.0 Mb C  SOUTHERN INDIA
01/01/26 07:32:33  23.43N  70.07E  33.0 5.5 Ms B  SOUTHERN INDIA
01/01/28 01:02:15  23.65N  70.64E  33.0 5.8 Mb B  SOUTHERN INDIA (MT)
(update: 01/01/28 22:30:00 UTC)
What is happening around the world now (Lists will appear as pop-up windows)
European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, France
National Earthquake Information Center, USGS.

Historical Activity:
(Discussion to be posted soon)
 
List of M4+ events since 1973.
List of M5+ events since 1973.
List of major events since 1610 - 1984.

Detailed References:
 
Paleoseismicity and Neotectonism of Kachchh, Western India.
A Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map of India and Adjoining areas.
 
Additional geological and seismological information shall be added shortly.

Culture of Kachchh region:
The Rann of Kuchchh is located along western India and southeast Pakistan border between the Gulf of Kutch and the Indus River delta. It is largely barren except for a fertile band along the Gulf of Kachchh in the Arabian Sea. It was the scene of major border disputes between India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
 
The people are mostly descendants of the Rajputs and have historical roots extending for more than 5,000 years. They put great pride in their rich ancestry and have great value on etiquette and military virtues. They have experienced many earthquakes over the millennium and they're resolve comes from faith and family.

Other interesting links for the region:
 
India Meteorological Department, Seismology.
Sarasvati River: Ancient Courses of the Himalayan river in Sindh, Rann of Kutch and Gujarat .
55 Million Years of Tibetan and Karakoram Evolution Recorded in the Indus Fan.
Sources: USGS, HRV, personal communications.
Update: 11:00 a.m., January 31, 2001.
Information contained within this report may not be disseminated without prior written consent from Seismo-Watch, Inc.
Copyright (c) Advanced Geologic Exploration 2001

 

 


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Subtract 8 hours from Greenwich Mean Time to obtain PST or 4 hours for EDT
Location Quality: A (good), B (fair), C (poor), D (bad)
Magnitude: Ml (local or Richter magnitude), Lg (mblg), Md (duration), Mb (body wave), Ms (surface wave), Mw (moment)

Standard Sources Include:
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, Golden, CO (NEIC)
Harvard Geophysical Observatory, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (HRV)
U.S. Geological Survey, Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN)
University of California, Berkeley, Seismological Laboratory (UCBSL)
Southern California Seismic Network (USGS & Caltech), Pasadena, California (SCSN)
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (Caltech)
various wire reports and/or personal communications

All data are preliminary and subject to change.
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