2019 Kashmir earthquake

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2019 Kashmir earthquake
2019 Kashmir Earthquake - ShakeMap.jpg
2019 Kashmir earthquake is located in Pakistan
2019 Kashmir earthquake
UTC time2019-09-24 11:01:55
ISC event616494857
Local date24 September 2019
Local time16:02 Pakistan Standard Time
Magnitude5.4 Mww[1]
6.0 Mw[2]
Depth10 km (6.2 mi)
Epicenter33°06′22″N 73°45′58″E / 33.106°N 73.766°E / 33.106; 73.766Coordinates: 33°06′22″N 73°45′58″E / 33.106°N 73.766°E / 33.106; 73.766
Areas affectedPakistan
Max. intensityVII (Very strong)
Casualties40 dead, 850 injured

The 2019 Kashmir earthquake struck regions of Pakistan with an epicentre in Azad Kashmir[3] on 24 September at 16:02 local time (11:02 UTC). It had a magnitude of 5.4 Mww and a maximum felt intensity of VII (very strong) on the Modified Mercalli scale.[1] There was severe damage in Mirpur District, causing the deaths of 40 people and injuring a further 850.[4] The epicentre of the shallow quake was near the city of Mirpur, Pakistan.[5] The tremors were felt in the Kashmir region, Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab (India), Uttarakhand and northern parts of India including New Delhi.[6]

Tectonic setting[edit]

Kashmir lies at the southern margin of the broad zone of continental collision between the Eurasian and Indian Plates. The rate of convergence between these plates near this location is 38 mm per year.[7] The main structures involved in accommodating this convergence are large thrust faults, such as the Main Central Thrust and the Main Frontal Thrust. Within the frontal thrust zone, there are many individual thrust faults. Many damaging earthquakes have resulted from movement on such thrust faults, such as the 2005 Kashmir earthquake which caused the deaths of around 87,000 people.[1]


The earthquake which occurred at a depth of 10 km was the result of thrust faulting associated with the active convergent boundary. Further analysis has showed that it occurred on a near horizontal-dipping thrust fault on the interface of the plate boundary. The Main Himalayan Thrust; the décollement structure underlying the Himalayas was the source of the earthquake. The rupture occurred on a segment of the décollement where it branches up to the surface via the Main Frontal Thrust. Up to 0.4 meter of slip occurred during the event, releasing a fraction of energy accumulated since a large quake in 1555. Modelling of the earthquake with InSAR data indicated a moment magnitude of 6.0.[2]


The earthquake caused severe damage to 135 houses in Mirpur District, with a further 319 being partially damaged, most in Mirpur and just four in Bhimber District. Two bridges were reported damaged and parts of several roads were affected, particularly 14 km of the Main Jatlan Road.[8][9]

According to the chairman of Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), "In Mirpur, besides the city, a small town Jatlan, and two small villages Manda and Afzalpur" were among the worst-hit areas. According to him, the main road which runs alongside a river from Mangla to Jatlan suffered major damage.[10] According to the officials, the Mangla Dam, Pakistan's major water reservoir, was spared. However, the dam's power house was closed, which resulted in a loss of 900 megawatts to Pakistan's national power grid. At 7:20 pm, power generation at Mangla was resumed, restoring 700 MW to the national grid.[11]

According to a media report, cracks and fissures had appeared in the Upper Jhelum canal. Flood water had managed to enter the Chak Nigah village in Jatlan town.[12] The canal was subsequently shut as a precautionary measure.[11]


Forty people have died and more than 850 injured as per the reports published on 26 September. Of those who died, thirty-three were in Mirpur District, four in Bhimber District, and one more in Jhelum District.[8] Reuters reported, citing architects, that the large number of casualties were due to shoddy building construction methods and weak construction standards in Pakistan.[3] Mirpur's deputy inspector general of police Sardar Gulfaraz Khan stated that a large number of deaths were caused due to the collapse of old houses in the villages.[3]


The Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Haider Khan, cut short a visit to Lahore and went back to his native region immediately after the reports of the damage emerged.[13] NDMA vehicles laden with 200 tents, 800 blankets, 200 kitchen sets and 100 medical kits were dispatched to affected areas.[10]


On 26 September at 12:30, two days after the major earthquake, another earthquake struck Mirpur, which led to a further 67 people being injured and one death reported.[14] It was of magnitude 4.7 and centered at Thothal Mirpur at the depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 mi).[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c ANSS. "Pakistan 2019: M 5.6 – 3km S of New Mirpur, Pakistan". Comprehensive Catalog. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b K.M. Sreejith; M.C.M. Jasir; Ritesh Agrawal; A.S. Rajawat (2021). "The 2019 September 24, Mw = 6, Mirpur earthquake, NW Himalaya: Geodetic evidence for shallow, near-horizontal décollement rupture of the Main Himalayan Thrust". Tectonophysics. Elsevier. 816 (229013): 229013. Bibcode:2021Tectp.81629013S. doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2021.229013.
  3. ^ a b c "Shoddy homes worsen Pakistan earthquake damage". Reuters. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  4. ^ "AJK Government Declares Earthquake-hit Mirpur The Calamity-hit Area". UrduPoint. Archived from the original on 2019-09-28. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  5. ^ "23 dead, more than 300 injured as 5.6-magnitude quake rocks northern Pakistan". Dawn. September 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Tremors In Delhi, Parts Of North India After 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake In Pakistan". NDTV.com. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  7. ^ USGS. "Himalaya tectonic summary map" (PDF). Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  8. ^ a b National Disaster Management Authority (26 September 2019). "NDMA Situation Report No. 04 - Mirpur Earthquake 2019 (Dated - 26 September 2019 @ 1530 hours)" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  9. ^ Chaudhry, Fahad, Tariq Naqash (25 September 2019). "Death toll from quake climbs to 38 as relief operations continue". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  10. ^ a b "NDMA chairman briefs media about earthquake damage, rescue efforts". Dawn. September 24, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Mangla power generation resumes after being affected". Dawn. September 25, 2019.
  12. ^ "Mangla Dam safe after earthquake but 900MW reportedly lost". Geo News. September 24, 2019.
  13. ^ "Earthquake Strikes Pakistan, Killing at Least 22". The New York Times. September 24, 2019.
  14. ^ AFP, Naqash, Tariq (26 September 2019). "67 injured as shallow tremor rocks Mirpur, Jhelum and adjoining areas". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  15. ^ Koshy, Jacob (26 September 2019). "Fresh quake near India-Pakistan border". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 September 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Tan, Ying; Dai, Zhiyang; Liu, Bin; Zha, Xianjie (2022), "Source Parameters and Slip Distribution of the 2019 Mw 5.8 Mirpur (Pakistan) Earthquake Inferred from the Corrected InSAR Observations", Seismological Research Letters, 93 (3): 1464–1478, doi:10.1785/0220210119, ISSN 0895-0695, S2CID 247829398

External links[edit]