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Bhuj Earthquake

A Powerful Earthquake of magnitude 6.9 on Richter-Scale rocked the Western Indian State of
Gujarat on the 26th of January, 2001. It caused extensive damage to life & property. This
earthquake was so devastating in its scale and suffering that the likes of it had not been
experienced in past 50 years. Leaving thousands seriously injured, bruised and handicapped;
both physically, psychologically and economically.
The epicenter of the quake was located at 23.6 north Latitude and 69.8 east Longitude, about
20 km Northeast of Bhuj Town of the Kutch district in Western Gujarat. At a depth of only 23
kms below surface this quake generated intense shaking which was felt in 70% region of
India and far beyond in neighbouring Pakistan and Nepal too. This was followed by intense
after shocks that became a continued source of anxiety for the populace.

The Seismicity of the affected Area of Kutch is a known fact with a high incidence of
earthquakes in recent times and in historical past. It falls in Seismic Zone V. The only such
zone outside the Himalayan Seismic Belt. In last 200 years important damaging earthquakes
occurred in 1819, 1844, 1845, 1856, 1869,1956 in the same vicinity as 2001 earthquake.
Twenty-one of the total 25 districts of the state was affected in this quake. Around 18 towns,
182 talukas and 7904 villages in the affected districts have seen large-scale devastation. The
affected areas even spread up to 300 km from the epicentre. In the Kutch District, four major
urban areas Bhuj, Anjar, Bachau and Rapar suffered near total destruction. The rural areas
in the region are also very badly affected with over 450 villages almost totally destroyed.
In addition, wide spread damages also occurred in Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surendranagar, Patan
and Ahmedabad districts. Other Urban areas such as Ganhidham, Morvi, Rajkot and
Jamnagar have also suffered damage to major structures, infrastructure and industrial
facilities. Ahmedabad the capital was also severely affected.

Gujarat Earthquake is very significant from the point of view of earthquake disaster
mitigation in India. The problems observed in this disaster are no different from other major
recent earthquakes in the world. The issues in the recovery and reconstruction phase are: the
proper understanding risk among different stakeholders, training and confidence building
among the professionals and masons with appropriate development planning strategies.
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This quake has provided numerous examples of geo-technical and structural failures. The
traditional wisdom of design and construction practises of engineered buildings prevalent in
this country came under criticism for the first time. It has triggered comprehensive
understanding on what needs to be done in this regard

Gujarat : Disaster on a day of celebration : 51st Republic Day on January 26, 2001
7.9 on the Richter scale.
8.46 AM January 26th 2001
20,800 dead

Basic Facts

Earthquake: 8:46am on January 26, 2001

Epicenter: Near Bhuj in Gujarat, India

Magnitude: 7.9 on the Richter Scale

Geologic Setting

Indian Plate Sub ducting beneath Eurasian Plate

Continental Drift

Convergent Boundary

Specifics of 2001 Quake

Compression Stress between regions faults
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Depth: 16km
Probable Fault: Kachchh Mainland
Fault Type: Reverse Dip-Slip (Thrust Fault)

The earthquakes epicentre was 20km from Bhuj. A city with a population of 140,000 in
2001. The city is in the region known as the Kutch region. The effects of the earthquake were
also felt on the north side of the Pakistan border, in Pakistan 18 people were killed.

Tectonic systems
The earthquake was caused at the convergent plate boundary between the Indian plate and the
Eurasian plate boundary. These pushed together and caused the earthquake. However as Bhuj
is in an intraplate zone, the earthquake was not expected, this is one of the reasons so many
buildings were destroyed because people did not build to earthquake resistant standards in
an area earthquakes were not thought to occur. In addition the Gujarat earthquake is an
excellent example of liquefaction, causing buildings to sink into the ground which gains a
consistency of a liquid due to the frequency of the earthquake.

India : Vulnerability to earthquakes

56% of the total area of the Indian Republic is vulnerable to seismic activity.

12% of the area comes under Zone V (A&N Islands, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal
Pradesh, J&K, N.E.States, Uttaranchal)

18% area in Zone IV (Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K,
Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttaranchal, W. Bengal)

26% area in Zone III (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala,
Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, W. Bengal)

Gujarat: an advanced state on the west coast of India.

On 26 January 2001, an earthquake struck the Kutch district of Gujarat at 8.46 am.

Epicentre 20 km North East of Bhuj, the headquarter of Kutch.

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The Indian Meteorological Department estimated the intensity of the earthquake at 6.9
Richter. According to the US Geological Survey, the intensity of the quake was 7.7

The quake was the worst in India in the last 180 years.

What earthquakes do

Casualties: loss of life and injury.

Loss of housing.

Damage to infrastructure.

Disruption of transport and communications.



Breakdown of social order.

Loss of industrial output.

Loss of business.

Disruption of marketing systems.

Loss classification
Deaths and injuries: demographics and labour markets
Effects on assets and GDP
Effects on fiscal accounts
Financial markets

Disaster loss

Initial estimate Rs. 200 billion.

Came down to Rs. 144 billion.

No inventory of buildings

Non-engineered buildings

Land and buildings

Stocks and flows

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Reconstruction costs (Rs. 106 billion) and loss estimates (Rs. 99 billion) are different

Public good considerations

Human Impact: Tertiary effects

Affected 15.9 million people out of 37.8 in the region (in areas such as Bhuj,
Bhachau, Anjar, Ganhidham, Rapar)

High demand for food, water, and medical care for survivors

Humanitarian intervention by groups such as Oxfam: focused on Immediate response

and then rehabilitation

Of survivors, many require persistent medical attention

Region continues to require assistance long after quake has subsided

International aid vital to recovery

Social Impacts

Social Impacts

80% of water and food sources were destroyed.

The obvious social impacts are that around 20,000 people were killed and near
200,000 were injured.

However at the same time, looting and violence occurred following the quake, and
this affected many people too.

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On the other hand, the earthquake resulted in millions of USD in aid, which has since
allowed the Bhuj region to rebuild itself and then grow in a way it wouldnt have done

The final major social effect was that around 400,000 Indian homes were destroyed
resulting in around 2 million people being made homeless immediately following the

Social security and insurance

Ex gratia payment: death relief and monetary benefits to the injured

Major and minor injuries

Cash doles

Government insurance fund

Group insurance schemes

Claim ratio

Demographics and labour market

Geographic pattern of ground motion, spatial array of population and properties at

risk, and their risk vulnerabilities.

Low population density was a saving grace.


Extra fatalities among women

Effect on dependency ratio

Farming and textiles

Economic Impacts

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Economic Impacts

Total damage estimated at around $7 billion. However $18 billion of aid was invested
in the Bhuj area.

Over 15km of tarmac road networks were completely destroyed.

In the economic capital of the Gujarat region, Ahmedabad, 58 multi storey buildings
were destroyed, these buildings contained many of the businesses which were
generating the wealth of the region.

Many schools were destroyed and the literacy rate of the Gujarat region is now the
lowest outside southern India.

Impact on GDP

Applying ICOR

Rs. 99 billion deduct a third as loss of current value added.

Get GDP loss as Rs. 23 billion

Adjust for heterogeneous capital, excess capacity, loss Rs. 20 billion.

Reconstruction efforts.

Likely to have been Rs. 15 billion.

Fiscal accounts

Differentiate among different taxes: sales tax, stamp duties and registration fees,
motor vehicle tax, electricity duty, entertainment tax, profession tax, state excise and
other taxes. Shortfall of Rs. 9 billion of which about Rs. 6 billion unconnected with

Earthquake related other flows.

Expenditure:Rs. 8 billion on relief. Rs. 87 billion on rehabilitation.

Impact on Revenue
Sales tax losses for February and March 2001 were Rs 115 crore. For 2001-02, the losses
were expected to be Rs 260 crore.

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Only 10% of the estimated stamp duty and registration fees were expected to be realised in
February and March 2001, . For 2001-02, collections were expected to fall by 50%.
Motor vehicle tax collections were expected to fall short of budgeted figures by almost Rs
600 crore.
Monthly losses of Rs 4 crore each were projected for electricity duty and entertainment tax.
Professional taxes were expected to be lower by Rs 5 crore in the current year.
The impact on total tax revenues was estimated at Rs 286 crore, Rs 345 crore, and Rs 436
crore, in 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2002-03 respectively.
Total own taxes (as % of SDP) were expected to fall from budgeted estimate of 8.56% (200001) to 7.85% and further to 7.46% in 2001-02.
Total tax revenue (as% of SDP) was expected to decline from budgeted estimate of nearly
10% (2000-01) to 9.27% and further to 8.76% in 2001-02

Impacts of Bhuj Earthquake on Revenue, Expenditure,

Economy and Environment

Impacts of Bhuj Earthquake

Impact on Revenue
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Sales tax losses for February and March 2001 were Rs 115 crore. For 2001-02, the losses
were expected to be Rs 260 crore.
Only 10% of the estimated stamp duty and registration fees were expected to be realised in
February and March 2001, . For 2001-02, collections were expected to fall by 50%.
Motor vehicle tax collections were expected to fall short of budgeted figures by almost Rs
600 crore.
Monthly losses of Rs 4 crore each were projected for electricity duty and entertainment tax.
Professional taxes were expected to be lower by Rs 5 crore in the current year.
The impact on total tax revenues was estimated at Rs 286 crore, Rs 345 crore, and Rs 436
crore, in 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2002-03 respectively.
Total own taxes (as % of SDP) were expected to fall from budgeted estimate of 8.56% (200001) to 7.85% and further to 7.46% in 2001-02.
Total tax revenue (as% of SDP) was expected to decline from budgeted estimate of nearly
10% (2000-01) to 9.27% and further to 8.76% in 2001-02

Impact on Expenditure
Total relief expenditure (food supplies, medical relief, debris removal, and cash
compensation) was estimated at around Rs 840 crore.
Total rehabilitation expenses were figured at Rs 8665 crore. Housing accounted for the
highest expenditure (Rs 5148 crore), followed by education (Rs 837 crore) and drinking
water (Rs 614 crore).
Total (relief and rehabilitation) expenses amounted to Rs 9,345 crore.

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Other Economic Impacts

Non-tax revenues : Interest receipts, irrigation receipts, and royalties were expected to remain
largely unaffected.
Municipal finances: Almost 10% of municipal revenues were expected to be lost in a year.
Banking : 68 commercial bank branches were fully damaged and 80 branches were partially
Financial market: The wealth loss was expected to lead to reshuffling of peoples portfolios
and affect asset market behaviour.
Employment: Nearly 5 lakh people were expected to become unemployed. Employment in
salt, ceramic, and small-scale industries (including refractories, powerlooms, cotton ginning
etc.) was worst affected.

Environmental Impacts
80% of water and food sources were destroyed.
Over a million structures were damaged, as a result local resources were used on a very high
scale in order to repair and rebuild the region.
The area was once Indias most visited region (by tourists) outside the central cities. However
after many of the old, historic buildings were destroyed this element of the economy was
destroyed. As a result the money no longer exists to maintain the environment to the same
This was the major cause of the percentage of crops which were destroyed. Groundwater was
brought to the surface by the frequency of the quakethe groundwater then flowed away in
the Indian ocean, as such even months and years later the water table in the region has a
reduced quantity and crop yields are still less plentiful then pre-quake years. The purple
spots represent this water.

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Disaster loss, reconstruction cost and output loss

ADB and World Banks Gujarat Earthquake Assessment Mission visited Gujarat during
February 11-22, 2001 for assessing the economic impact of the earthquake.

Bhuj Earthquake
The disaster loss was estimated at Rs 99 billion.
Reconstruction costs were estimated at Rs 106 billion.
The annual loss of state domestic product was estimated at around Rs 20 billion (assuming an
ICOR of 4) for the first 12 months.

Transportation System:

Airports closed

City in gridlock as traffic lights were out

Cars were used to transport injured due to run out of ambulances

Telecommunication System:
Telecommunication system was disrupted initially
People were requested to use messaging service instead of calling, so that
emergency services can use the phone lines.
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Telephone companies established emergency lines and free call facilities after few hours.

Financial Arrangements done after Bhuj Earthquake 2001

National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF)

Came into force from 2000-01.

Aims to assist natural calamities (earthquake, flood, drought etc.) when the magnitude
of the disasters require more support than what the state can provide.

The initial corpus of NCCF was Rs 500 crore.

The National Centre for Calamity Management (NCCM) under the M/o Home Affairs
administers the Fund.

Assistance provided by the Centre to States from NCCF is financed by levy of special
surcharge on Central taxes for a limited period.

Expenditure norms under NCCF and CRF

Ex-gratia payment to families of deceased persons: Rs 50,000/- per person.

Ex-gratia payment for loss of limbs/eyes: Rs 25,000/- per person.

Injury leading to hospitalisation for more than one week: Rs 5,000/ per person.

Relief for old, infirm and destitute children: Adults- Rs 20/- per day; children- Rs 10/per day.

Repair/restoration of damaged houses: Fully damaged Rs 10,000/- (Rs 6,000/- for

kuccha); severely damaged Rs 2,000/- (Rs. 1,000/- for kuccha)

Assistance to artisans (as subsidy) for repair/replacement of damaged equipment :

Traditional craft Rs 1,000/- per person; Handloom weavers Rs 1,000/- per loom.

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Gujarat : Assistance provided

Immediate relief of Rs 500 crore from the NCCF.

NCCF augmented by imposing a 2% surcharge on personal and corporate income tax

in Union Budget (2001-02) for assisting Gujarat.

Rs 110 crore provided from PMs Relief Fund.

Assistance was provided under various centrally sponsored schemes for

reconstruction of social and physical infrastructure.

Arrangements were tied up with ADB and World Bank for credit worth US $800

NHB and HUDCO set apart adequate funds for housing reconstruction.

RBI instructed banks to freeze recoveries and extend liberal loans.

Gujarat government was enabled to float tax-free earthquake bonds.

Response and Rescue operation in Bhuj Earthquake India


Search and rescue operations

2. International Community Response

3. Response within the country
4. First impressions of shelters
5. Health initiatives
Search and rescue operations

All sizes and hues, relief equipment, personnel and rescue teams with their

Transportation trucks at times were not available and there was difficulty in finding
labour for loading and unloading material which caused avoidable and critical delays.

International Community Response

17 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams made up of 399 rescuers and 26 rescue dogs
equipped with technical and rescue equipment assisted in the search and rescue

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Teams from Switzerland, Scotland, Mexico, France, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Japan
were most active in this task.

More than 300 persons were rescued alive in the first 5 days.

CARE Canada & Norway arrived in Bhuj with 2650 tents.

40 persons relief team were engaged in relief work.

The medical teams with medicines arrived from France, Japan, South Korea, Mexico,
and other countries.

66 countries, 24 other international donors/various international organisations sent

rescue teams including sniffer dogs, relief materials and mobile hospitals.

Response within the country

Several CSOs/NGOs/philanthropists and rescue teams rushed to Gujarat from all over
the country.

Gujaratis and residents of different states set up community kitchens. One such was
set up in Adesar by an organisation called Jain Sasan of Mumbai in which more than
3500 persons were served food per day.

Air force was bringing airmen everyday for Ahmedabad in which a large number of
ex-servicemen came forward to work for the rescue and relief .

Transportation facilities were extended for relief material abroad With free handling
facilities to charter flights bringing in relief materials.

By 5th February 2001 financial assistance of IRS 500.00 Crores equaling USD 1
billion by Central govt. was commited.

In addition, 95,000 MT of food, other materials like clothing and tents, medical
supplies and personnel, fuel and communication equipment were made available.

Health initiatives

The army colonel whose unit was airlifted for emergency medical operations due to
their experience of handling the cyclone in Orissa and earthquake in Latur stated that
he hadnt had a bath for 4 days.

He could predict a pattern in the inflow of patients in disasters who start trickling in
after the first 24 hrs and the flow becoming a deluge after 48 hrs and tapering off after
nearly 7 days.

Indian doctors worked as a team with foreign health teams.

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Foreign mobile hospitals were operational within 24 hrs of their arrival.

Rescue Operations
Involved Personas:



rescue specialists

emergency room physicians

structural engineers,

heavy equipment specialists,

hazardous materials technicians,

communications specialists

logistics specialists.

A Participatory Approach

Disaster management is primarily responsibility of State Governments.

The Government of India supplements state through policy and administrative


Policy response comprises of activating administrative machinery for assisting relief

measures and monitoring progress.

Administrative response comprises of primary and secondary relief functions.

Reconstruction Activities
The reconstruction process involves a wide range of activities. For the
purpose of this paper, these activities have been grouped under the following titles.
The next sections analyze the mitigation aspect of each of these activities.
Key activities:

Mapping and property database

Preparation of a city-level development plan

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The development of urban infrastructure

Town planning schemes to redevelop the walled city

Experiments in community planning, institution building and supporting civil society


Disaster waste disposal

Recycling all debris after a disaster was costly and disruptive
Choosing 100 per cent recycling would be great for the environment, but cost more and take
a lot longer.

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