The prediction of time and location of earthquake is a difficult phenomenon. Significant part of Indian population lives under a constant threat of a possible devastating earthquake particularly in high seismic zone like Himalayas and Gujarat. NCR Delhi lies in Seismic zone IV, IS 1893 (2002), having a population of 13 million. Delhi is always under a threat of a moderate earthquake.
The following list briefly outlines known earthquakes. General locations are provided for historical events for which “generalized” epicentral co-ordinates are available.
27 August 1960 – Gurgaon-Faridabad (Haryana)
28.20 N, 77.40 E, Origin Time=15:58:59.20 UTC
Damage from this earthquake extended into New Delhi where at least 50 people were injured. Structural damage was reported in Karol Bagh and cracks in houses in RK Puram.
20 June 1966 – Delhi-Gurgaon Border (Delhi-Haryana Border region)
Body Wave Magnitude 4.7 (ISC)
28.50 N, 76.98 E, Depth=053.0 kms, Origin Time=13:42:57 UTC
29 July 1980 – Western Nepal
Moment Magnitude 6.8 (HRV)
29.60 N, 81.09 E,Origin Time=14:58:40 UTC
Between 150 – 200 persons were killed and hundreds injured. Extensive damage in several towns in western Nepal. The quake also caused damage in Pithoragarh area, nearly 50 kilometres away from the epicentre. 13 persons were killed here and 40 were injured. The quake was felt as far away as Kathmandu and New Delhi.
21 October 1991 – Near Pilang (Uttarkashi), Uttaranchal
Moment Magnitude 6.8
30.78 N, 78.77 E, Origin Time=21:23:14 UTC
Between 750 to 2000 people killed in the Gharwal region. It was also felt very strongly in Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Some minor damage was reported in Chandigarh and New Delhi.
12 November 1996 – Near Kurukshetra (Haryana-U.P. border region)
Surface Wave magnitude 4.5 (NEIC)
29.928 N, 77.207 E, Depth=055.0 kms, Origin Time=04:20:58 UTC
4 May 1997 – Rothak-Sonepat Districts (Haryana)
Local Magnitude 4.1 (EIDC)
28.984 N, 76.588 E, Depth=28.8 kms, Origin Time=07:19:22 UTC
30 March 1998 – Mahendragarh-Bhiwani Districts (Haryana-Rajasthan Border)
Surface Wave magnitude 5.0 (NEIC)
28.211 N, 76.240 E, Depth=010.0 kms, Origin Time=23:55:45 UTC
22 March 1999 – North of New Delhi, (Haryana-Uttar Pradesh Border region)
Surface Wave magnitude 4.1 (NEIC)
29.257 N, 76.940 E, Depth=207.6 kms, Origin Time=09:56:16 UTC
29 March 1999 – Near Gopeshwar (Chamoli), Uttaranchal
Moment Magnitude 6.5 (HRV)
30.492 N, 79.288 E, Origin Time=19:05:11 UTC
115 people killed in the Gharwal region. The quake was felt very strongly in Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Delhi and Haryana. In Haryana, one person was killed in the city of Ambala and 2 at Nakodar in the neighbouring state of Punjab. Minor damage to buildings in New Delhi, most significantly in Patparganj. Minor damage also reported from Chandigarh.
28 April 2001 – Sonepat-Delhi region
Body Wave Magnitude 4.3 (ISC)
28.591 N, 77.044 E, Depth=15.4 kms, Origin Time=03:06:27 UTC
Felt widely in the New Delhi area and resulted in widespread panic in the city.
22 December 2003 – Jind region, Haryana
Local Magnitude 3.5
29.235 N, 76.401 E, Depth=15.4 kms, Origin Time=20:19:08 UTC
A series of minor tremors were felt in central Haryana, in the town of Jind and the surrounding villages from early November 2003 into early 2004. This sequence was punctuated by a ML=3.5 event on 23 December 2003, which has been the largest recorded event since the onset of the swarm.
27 November 2004 – Chandigarh-north Haryana region
Local Magnitude 3.9
30.352 N, 77.129 E, Depth=19 kms, Origin Time=23:53:54 UTC
A mild earthquake struck the union territory of Chandigarh and the adjoining parts of Haryana & Punjab on 27 November 2004 at 05:23 AM local time. It was felt by many in the region and had a magnitude of ML=3.9.
8 October 2005 – Kashmir-Kohistan, Pakistan-India border
Moment Magnitude 7.6
34.432 N, 73.537 E, Depth=020.0 kms, Origin Time=03:50:40 UTC
A major earthquake struck the India-Pakistan border on the morning of 8 October 2005. It had a magnitude of Mw=7.6 and was felt strongly in much of Pakistan, northern India and eastern Afghanistan. The earthquake resulted in more than 80,000 deaths in northern Pakistan and adjoining parts of Jammu & Kashmir, India and is by far one of the deadliest in the sub-continent. At least 10 people also died in other parts of north India (including 2 in Delhi) and 4 in Afghanistan due to this earthquake. Tremors from the earthquake were felt more than a thousand kilometres away in the Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
25 November 2007 – Delhi metropolitan area
Body Wave Magnitude 4.6
28.677 N, 77.204 E, Depth=10 kms, Origin Time=23:12:17 UTC
A light earthquake was felt in the Delhi Metropolitan area on the morning of 26 November 2007 at 04:42 AM IST. It had a magnitude of Mb=4.6 and was felt for close to 10-seconds in Delhi causing widespread panic. This is the strongest local earthquakes in the Delhi metropolitan area since 2001 and the highest in magnitude since the M6.0 Gurgaon earthquake in August 1960.
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