The recent floods in Uttarakhand are a cruel reminder of the natural disasters the country has faced in the past. These disasters have impacted millions of lives in the country and also proved our lack of competence to tackle such tragedies on a large scale. Here is a list of five major earthquakes that have struck India.
On January 26, 2001 an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale hit the state of Gujarat killing over 20,000 people. The earthquake occurred at 8:40 in the morning and lasted for two minutes. Several towns and villages were destroyed in the catastrophe. Being close to the epicenter, Bhuj was among the worst affected areas including Anjaar, Vondh and Bhachau. Several buildings were damaged or destroyed in the quake. The famous Swaminarayan temple in the city of Bhuj was also partially damaged.
1934 Bihar earthquake:
The 1934 Bihar earthquake is considered to be one of the worst quakes in Indian history. The quake occurred on January 15, 1934 and was recorded 8.1 on the Richter scale. Over 30,000 people were said to have been killed in the disaster. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in eastern Nepal. Extensive damage was caused to life and property. The intensity of the earthquake was so strong that its effect was felt in Kolkata-650 km from epicenter. Purnea, Munger, Muzaffarpur and Champaran were among the worst affected areas.
1993 Maharashtra earthquake:
Over 20,000 people were killed in the earthquake that occurred on September 30, 1993 in the state of Maharashtra. The quake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale with epicenter at Killari village in Latur district. Osmanabad and Latur were the worst affected areas. The destruction was massive with over 52 villages being raised completely to the ground.
1950 Assam earthquake:
The Assam earthquake also known as the Medog earthquake occurred on August 15, 1950 and had a magnitude of 8.6 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was located at Rima in Tibet. The quake caused widespread destruction in both Assam and Tibet. Over 1,500 people were killed in Assam alone. It was considered to be among the ten largest earthquakes of 20th century.
1991 Uttarkashi earthquake
On October 20, 1991 an earthquake measuring 6.1on the Richter scale shook the districts of Uttarkashi,Chamoli and Tehrilocated in the state of Uttarakhand. Over a thousand people were killed in the quake and extensive damage was caused to property. The tremors of the quake were felt up to Delhi.
Photo by Amrita