I wrote about the Gujarat Earthquake which occurred on January 26, 2001. Fun fact: that day was also India’s 52nd Independence Day anniversary. I had never heard about this event, I stumbled across it when searching for topics to write about.

The Gujarat quake was a 7.7 magnitude quake which occurred in the morning of January 26, and it lasted for over two minutes. The epicenter of the quake was only 24 km deep, so the seismic waves did not have much time to dissipate before the broke the surface. This quake was the second most devastating quake in all of India’s recorded history, with 20,000 left dead, over 150,000 left injured, and over 400,000 displaced or homeless. The quake was followed by over 400 aftershocks felt all over the Gujarat state, as well as the rest of the country of India. These aftershocks continued for up to two months after the quake. This specific quake was caused by the Indo-Australian plate subjecting beneath the Eurasian plate, ¬†also known as a thrust fault.

There was little to no preparation or mitigation for an earthquake of this size in the Gujarat state, which escalated the amount of damage. After the quake, buildings were found to have been lacking basic structural support, or didn’t meet the local building codes. Some engineers and building managers were found criminally negligent because of this, because of claims that more life could have been saved if the buildings were properly constructed.

Once the Indian government saw the magnitude of the destruction of the Gujarat state, relief aid was administered and help poured in. Once the general emergency phase was complete, the Government of Gujarat instated a new disaster management and preparation program. From this, The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority was created, and still remains to this day. The authority switched from a pro-disaster oriented intervention to a pro-active prevention, mitigation, and pre disaster preparedness. Citizens are now better aware of hazards that come with a potential earthquake, and even though a quake so large happening again in the Gujarat state is slim, it is important to be prepared for the worst.



  1. With India being the second most populous country in the world I’m not that surprised that so many people were effected by this catastrophe. Also with India being a developing country I doubt the building codes and materials are strong enough to withstand a powerful earthquake like this one. I am happy to see that the disaster management authority is working more on prevention now than reacting to disaster. I think disaster prevention and preparation are much more important than focusing on the response to disasters. This was a good summary that was short and to the point. Good job.

  2. The death toll of this earthquake is unsurprising and yet one never becomes fully desentitized to this type of tragedy. I’m also completley unsurpirsed about the criminal neglegence found in this earthquake, just because of what is common knolwdge about the willingness to cut corners in order to achieve profit in these parts of the world. The shift from the original pro-disaster oriented intervention to the new pro-active oriented intervention sounds like it was overdue, but doesn’t diminish the positivity of that change. The education given to the residents in that area is probably the most important aspect, as a warning system does nothing to prevent an earthquake from actually happening. The best way to avoid loss of like is to know how to do so in the first place. The conciseness of this summary was appreciated, and all important points were hit. Great work.

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