2001 Gujarat earthquake
|Date||January 26, 2001|
|Depth||16 kilometres (10 mi)|
|Epicenter||Yellow star marks epicentre |
|Countries or regions||India, Pakistan|
|Max. intensity||X (Intense)|
|Casualties||approximately 20,000 believed dead, 166,001 injured|
The 2001 Gujarat earthquake occurred on January 26, 2001, India's 51st Republic Day, at 08:46 AM local time (3:16 UTC) and lasted for over two minutes. The epicentre was about 9 km south-southwest of the village of Chobari in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District of Gujarat, India. The earthquake reached a magnitude of between 7.6 and 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum felt intensity of X (Intense) on the Mercalli intensity scale. The quake killed around 20,000 people (including 18 in South eastern Pakistan), injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 400,000 homes.
This was an intraplate earthquake, one that occurred at a distance from an active plate boundary, so the area was not well prepared. The shock waves spread 700 km. 21 districts were affected and 600,000 people left homeless.
Tectonic setting 
Gujarat lies about 400 km from the plate boundary between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, but the current tectonics is still governed by the effects of the continuing continental collision along this boundary. During the break-up of Gondwana in the Jurassic, this area was affected by rifting with a roughly west-east trend. During the collision with Eurasia the area has undergone shortening, involving both reactivation of the original rift faults and development of new low-angle thrust faults. The related folding has formed a series of ranges, particularly in central Kutch. The focal mechanism of most earthquakes is consistent with reverse faulting on reactivated rift faults. The pattern of uplift and subsidence associated with the 1819 Rann of Kutch earthquake is consistent with reactivation of such a fault. The 2001 Gujarat earthquake was caused by movement on a previously unknown south-dipping fault, trending parallel to the inferred rift structures.
The final death toll in Kutch was 12,290. Bhuj, situated only 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the epicenter, was devastated. Considerable damage also occurred in Bhachau and Anjar with hundreds of villages flattened in Taluka of Anjar, Bhuj & Bhachau. Over a million structures were damaged or destroyed, including many historic buildings and tourist attractions. The quake destroyed around 40% of homes, eight schools, two hospitals and 4 km of road in Bhuj and partly destroyed the city's historic Swaminarayan temple and historic fort as well Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal. In Ahmedabad, Gujarat's commercial capital with a population of 5.6 million, as many as 50 multi-storied buildings collapsed and several hundred people were killed. Total property damage was estimated at $5.5 billion and rising. In Kutch, the quake destroyed about 60% of food and water supplies and around 258,000 houses - 90% of the district's housing stock. The biggest set back was the total demolition of the Bhuj Civil hospital. The Indian military provided emergency support which was later augmented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. A temporary Red Cross hospital remained in Bhuj to provide care while a replacement hospital was built.
Relief poured in from all over the world and over a longer period of time, the affected area was re-equipped with all the basic facilities along with state-of-the-art upgrades. The result being that Bhuj, along with several small towns and villages, is now complete with a better hospital, town and first-aid center. Also, several guidelines and rules were put into place by the Gujarat government for real-estate and construction businesses in foresight of another such event. A rather amusing piece of trivia that happened was, a few months before the quake, India had shot down a Pakistani fighter aircraft for alleged violation of its air-space. So when the turn came for Pakistan to send a relief aircraft full with aid and goods, a rather global announcement was made in order to safe-guard it and avoid any such repetition.
Another interesting event that occurred was the emergence of a river in the dry land of Kutch that ran along a great length. This gave rise to the hypothesis that the Indus river which had moved during such a similar event from the present-day Gujarat to the Present-day Pakistan in ancient times is now starting to move back to its ancient original course due to the latest tectonic forces. There were also various theological inferences regarding the mythical river of Saraswati but all that was quickly put to rest when the river dried up in the forthcoming summer season.
The district collector Anil Mukim oversaw the early delivery of aid and equipment to affected villages but later called for aid to cease as it encouraged a "relief mentality" which would delay a return to normal life.
See also 
- M7.7 Bhuj " Republic Day " Earthquake, 2001
- NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- 2001 Gujarat Earthquake
- Chobari - epicentre of 26th Jan, 2001 Gujarat earthquake with map
- "Preliminary Earthquake Report". USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
- Bodin, P.; Horton S. (2004). "Source Parameters and Tectonic Implications of Aftershocks of the Mw 7.6 Bhuj Earthquake of 26 January 2001". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 94 (3): 818–827. Bibcode:2004BuSSA..94..818B. doi:10.1785/0120030176. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Interdisciplinary Observations on The January 2001 Bhuj, Gujarat Earthquake
- John M. Eidinger, ed. (2001). Gujarat (Kutch) India M7.7 Earthquake of January 26, 2001. Reston, VA: ASCE, TCLEE. ISBN 9780784405840.
- Malik, Rajiv (2001-08-18). "To Rebuild Kutch". Hinduism Today (Himalayan Academy). Archived from the original on 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 2001 Gujarat earthquake|
- Bhuj Area Development Authority
- Special Event Page, Amateur Seismic Centre, India
- Bhuj earthquake, University of Colorado
- Gujarat Earthquake, Pictures and Analysis