Imagine you being shaken up mildly by someone? How hitting it is to your body? What if the place you are living is shaken? This shaking thing is termed to be an Earthquake. In simple language, Earthquake is the shake in the earth’s crust. When the earth’s crusts are disturbed due to various factors, it shakes the same way when we shake because of disturbance in our body. However, Earthquakes are on a larger and broader scale. Earthquakes always come with destruction. Destruction of Infrastructure and more importantly, Humanity. In the world there have been so many infamous Earthquakes and India is not behind. Indians have seen and have been through so many horrific earthquakes that have caused loss of many lives.
So, let us look at some of the Deadliest Indian earthquakes:
10. Koyna Nagar, Maharashtra (1967)
Termed to be in Zone 4 (The high-risk zone) for earthquakes, Koynanagar in Maharashtra has witnessed several earthquakes until date. The last was said to be in the year 2014, which was not a major one, and minor tremors were felt by the residents. However, the town was shaken on the early morning of 11th December 1967 when an earthquake of a magnitude of 6.5 on Richter scale was recorded. It was later known that the reason for the earthquake was the seismic activities in the reservoir. The earthquake took 180 lives and left 1500 injured. It was said that area around 25 Kms was affected due to the Earthquake.
9. Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
One of the deadliest earthquakes in Uttarakhand as well as in India which made the life upset down for the people living there occurred on October 20th, 1991. The magnitude measured on the Richter scale was 6.8 having the epicenter as Garhwal. The major affected areas were Garhwal and Uttarkashi (now Uttrakhand) taking more than 1000 lives. The earthquake was so disastrous that it made homeless more than 3,00,000 people and destroyed around 1300 villages completely. The cause of earthquake was said to be disrupted in the thrust of Himalayas.
8. Assam (1987)
Assam is also considered to be an earthquake prone zone and so the residents have felt several tremors all these years. Among the major earthquakes occurred in Assam was the 12th June 1987 earthquake. The earthquake was measured to be of 8.1 magnitude on the Richter scale. The epicenter of that quake is still not known but it majorly affected the east Indian states and neighboring countries, Burma and Tibet. There were several aftershocks of the heavy magnitude quake which were continuously felt over a few days time. More than 1500 lives were taken by the earthquakes and as reported thousands of them were injured.
7. Assam (1950)
Assam comes under the Zone 5 of having the highest risk of having earthquakes and has seen so many earthquakes over the years. One earthquake which was considered among the worst earthquakes of that time occurred on independence in India i.e on 15th August 1950. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8.6 at Richter scale and had Rima in Tibet as the epicenter of it. Assam and Tibet were majorly affected by the high magnitude quake taking more than 1500 lives and injured thousands of them. Lakhs of people lost their houses and were homeless. After the quake, there was a flood like situation as the tides in the river rose falling all the surrounding things to itself. The earthquake was said to be caused due to continental plates collision.
6. Latur, Maharashtra (1993)
The infamous Latur Earthquake that occurred on the night of September 30th, 1993 was among the most devastated earthquakes Maharashtra ever witnessed. Killauri in Latur was the epicenter of the quake 10 km under the ground causing severe damages. The magnitude was recorded to be 6.4 but the damage was done on a much higher scale. Around 10,000 lives were lost in the earthquake with 16,000 thousand people being injured. The most affected area by the quake was Latur and Osamabad. 52 Villages turned into debris and lakhs of people were homeless. BBC reported the scenario in detail of Latur and how the quake affected several lives after which the development at the area was been taken care of by the Maharastra Government and Latur came back on the trail.
5. Kangra, Himachal Pradesh (1905)
Before Independence, yet another earthquake hit the nation was in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh on April 4th, 1905.The epicenter of the quake was said to be the Himalayas and the reason was the continental plates collision. The magnitude of the earthquake was recorded at 7.8 which took 20,000 lives. The area of Kangra Valley, Dharamshala and Mcleodganj were majorly affected where the normal life was disrupted. As per the records, nearly 1-lakh houses were destroyed and several animals were also killed in it. The vegetation was uprooted from that region citing the situation due to the earthquake. It was said that the region took the time to come back to their normal lives and around Rs 2.9 million were spent on the recovery in the year 1905.
4. Gujarat (2001)
Widely known as the Bhuj earthquake, The Earthquake occurred on the republic day i.e 26th January 2001. Among a devastating natural disaster, India could face was the Gujarat earthquake. Recorded at the magnitude of 7.7 in morning around 9, the earthquake took lives of more than 20,000 people and more than 1,60,000 people were severely injured. Lakhs of people (4,00,000 as reported) were homeless and it took almost 6 months to bring back the life on track for the people of Gujarat. The epicenter was said to be Kutch region in Gujarat. Everywhere debris was found and many aftershocks (500 as claimed) were also felt for over next couple of months.
3. Bihar (1934)
One of the deadliest earthquake before the Pre-Independence era occurred on January 15th, 1934. The nation was shaken by the quake in the noon recorded at Richter scale at 8.7 magnitudes. The epicenter was said to be In South of Mount Everest near to Nepal. More than 30,000 lives were claimed and thousands of others became homeless. Mahatma Gandhi also visited Bihar at that time and tried to pacify the people. The majorly affected areas were Munger, Muzzafarpur, and Kathmandu in Nepal. The reason for the earthquake was cited to be a disruption in Himalayan ranges.
2. Kashmir (2005)
On the morning of 8th October 2005, the North India was taken aback with the high magnitude earthquake of 8.7 recorded at Richter scale. The epicenter of the quake was said to be in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan. The major damage was in Pakistan and took a lot many lives over there as compared to India, but the tremors were felt in all northern states of India like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana. It is said that more than 1,30,000 were killed in the earthquake and millions of people were homeless. Neighboring countries China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan also felt the tremors citing to the intensity of the quake. All came together to provide relief to the victims.
1. Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004)
Considered to be the most dreaded natural calamity of all times in India, the Tsunami cause major destruction in India, Srilanka, and Indonesia. Occurred on the next day of Christmas, 26th December in 2004, the quake was measured to be a very high magnitude of 9.3 along with ocean waves called Tsunami of over 100ft. The epicenter was on Sumatra Island in Indonesia. Several islands were vanished from the middle of the Indian Ocean due to this. The TV channels and newspapers were flooded with the news of Tsunami showing detailed coverage of the worst situation over there. It took lives of more than 2, 50,000 people out of which 50,000 were said to be Indians.
Natural calamities are always very distressful and earthquakes are such natural calamity, which has always come with disaster. India too has faced severe earthquakes and has fought back with bravery citing unity among Indians each time, to be ready to help all those affected by it. There needs to be the use of advanced technology in disaster management, which could let us know if any such calamity would be occurring in future or not. In fact, quakeproof roads, houses etc should be constructed so that major destruction does not occur. Various developments have been made over a period of time but that would not be enough.