Gujarat India Earthquake Case Study

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake, also known as the Bhuj earthquake, occurred on 26 January, India's 51st Republic Day, at 08:46 AM IST and lasted for over 2 minutes. The epicentre was about 9 km south-southwest of the village of Chobari in BhachauTaluka of Kutch District of Gujarat, India.[5][6]

The intraplate earthquake reached 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale and had a maximum felt intensity of X (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale. The earthquake killed between 13,805 and 20,023 people (including 18 in southeastern Pakistan), injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 400,000 homes.[7][8]

Tectonic setting[edit]

See also: Geology of India

Gujarat lies 300–400 km from the plate boundary between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, but the current tectonics are still governed by the effects of the continuing continental collision along this boundary. During the break-up of Gondwana in the Jurassic, this area was affected by rifting with a roughly west-east trend. During the collision with Eurasia the area has undergone shortening, involving both reactivation of the original rift faults and development of new low-angle thrust faults. The related folding has formed a series of ranges, particularly in central Kutch.[9]

The focal mechanism of most earthquakes is consistent with reverse faulting on reactivated rift faults. The pattern of uplift and subsidence associated with the 1819 Rann of Kutch earthquake is consistent with reactivation of such a fault.

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake was caused by movement on a previously unknown south-dipping fault, trending parallel to the inferred rift structures.[10][11]


The death toll in the Kutch region was 12,300. Bhuj, which was situated only 20  km away from the epicentre, was devastated. Considerable damage also occurred in Bhachau and Anjar with hundreds of villages flattened in Taluka of Anjar, Bhuj and Bhachau. Over a million structures were damaged or destroyed, including many historic buildings and tourist attractions.[12] The quake destroyed around 40% of homes, eight schools, two hospitals and 4 km of road in Bhuj, and partly destroyed the city's historic Swaminarayan temple and historic fort as well Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal. The Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) inspected more than 250 heritage buildings in Kutch and Saurashtra and found that about 40% of them are either collapsed or seriously damaged. Only 10% were undamaged.[13]

In Ahmedabad, Gujarat's commercial capital with a population of 6.4 million, as many as 50 multi-storey buildings collapsed and several hundred people were killed. Total property damage was estimated at $7.5 billion. In Kutch, the earthquake destroyed about 60% of food and water supplies and around 258,000 houses, 90% of the district's housing stock. The biggest setback was the total demolition of the Bhuj Civil hospital. The Indian military provided emergency support which was later augmented by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society. A temporary Red Cross hospital remained in Bhuj to provide care while a replacement hospital was built.[14]


Four months after the earthquake the Gujarat government announced the Gujarat Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Policy. The policy proposed a different approach to urban and rural construction with the estimated cost of rebuilding to be US$1.77 billion.[15]

The main objectives of the policy included repairing, building, and strengthening houses and public buildings. Other objectives included the revival of the economy, health support, and reconstruction of the community and social infrastructure.[15]


The housing policy focused on the removal of rubble, setting up temporary shelters, full reconstruction of damaged houses, and the retrofitting of undamaged units. The policy established a community-driven housing recovery process. The communities affected by the earthquake were given the option for complete or partial relocation to in-situ reconstruction.[16] The total number of eligible houses to be repaired was 929,682 and the total number of eligible houses to be reconstructed was 213,685. By 2003, 882,896 (94%) houses were repaired and 113,271 (53%) were reconstructed.[17]

City planning[edit]

The Environmental Planning Collaborative (EPC) was commissioned to provide a new city plan for the city of Bhuj.[18] The plan focused on creating a wider roadway network to provide emergency access to the city. The EPC used land readjustment (LR) in the form of eight town planning schemes.[18] This was implemented by deducting land from private lot sizes to create adequate public land for the widening of roadways.[19] The remaining land was readjusted and given back to the original owners as final plots.[18]


In order to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the city, the Government of Gujarat created four assistance packages worth up to US$1 billion. These packages assisted about 300,000 families. The government also announced a US$2.5 million package to revive small, medium, and cottage industries. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank also provided loans worth $300 million and $500 million respectively.[17]

Assistance was received from many countries and organisations.

CountryRelief Given
Bangladesh20,000 tons of rice and a 12-member medical team
CanadaUS$2 million
GreeceUS$270,000 in financial aid relief supplies
Israel150 member emergency aid mission
ItalyUS$2.3 million for emergency equipment
The NetherlandsUS$2.5 million through UNICEF
New ZealandUS$200,000 grant
Pakistan13 tons of relief material such as blankets and food
SyriaMedical and other relief supplies
United Kingdom£10 million
United StatesRelief supplies up to US$5 million
UAE, Vietnam, Saudi ArabiaRelief material and supplies


Smritivan, a memorial park and museum dedicated to victims of the earthquake was built on top of Bhujia Hill. 13,823 trees, each dedicated to a victim, were planted in the garden and 108 small water reservoirs were created on the hill.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^M7.7 Bhuj " Republic Day " Earthquake, 2001
  2. ^NGDC. "Comments for the Significant Earthquake". Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  3. ^ abRay, Joydeep (April 16, 2004). "Gujarat to set up quake memorial in Bhuj". Business Standard. 
  4. ^Gupta, HARSH K., et al. "Bhuj earthquake of 26 January 2001." JOURNAL-GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF INDIA 57.3 (2001): 275–278.
  5. ^"15 years of Gujarat earthquake: A trauma etched in Gujarat's memory – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  6. ^"Preliminary Earthquake Report". USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  7. ^Sen, Kavita. "Economic consequences of the Gujarat earthquake". 
  8. ^Maurya, D. M.; Chowksey, Vikas; Patidar, A. K.; Chamyal, L. S. (2017). "A review and new data on neotectonic evolution of active faults in the Kachchh Basin, Western India: legacy of post-Deccan Trap tectonic inversion". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 445 (1): 237–268. Bibcode:2017GSLSP.445..237M. doi:10.1144/sp445.7. 
  9. ^Bodin, P.; Horton S. (2004). "Source Parameters and Tectonic Implications of Aftershocks of the Mw 7.6 Bhuj Earthquake of 26 January 2001"(PDF). Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Seismological Society of America. 94 (3): 818–827. Bibcode:2004BuSSA..94..818B. doi:10.1785/0120030176. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  10. ^Li, Qingsong; Liu, Mian; Yang, Youqing (17 March 2013). "The 01/26/2001 Bhuj, India, Earthquake: Intraplate or Interplate?". Plate Boundary Zones. American Geophysical Union. pp. 255–264. doi:10.1029/gd030p0255. ISBN 978-1-118-67044-6. ISSN 2329-1540. 
  11. ^Interdisciplinary Observations on The January 2001 Bhuj, Gujarat Earthquake
  12. ^Rabindra, Vasavada; Edmund, Booth (2001). "Effect of the Bhuj, India earthquake of 26 January 2001 on heritage buildings". Beiträge zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Archäologie. 21. ISSN 0170-9518. 
  13. ^Eidinger, John M. (2001-01-01). Gujarat (Kutch), India, M7.7 Earthquake of January 26, 2001, and Napa M5.2 Earthquake of September 3, 2000. ASCE Publications. ISBN 9780784475065. 
  14. ^ abJha, Abhas K. (2010-01-15). Safer Homes, Stronger Communities: A Handbook for Reconstructing after Natural Disasters. World Bank Publications. ISBN 9780821382684. 
  15. ^Jha, Abhas K. (2010-01-15). Safer Homes, Stronger Communities: A Handbook for Reconstructing after Natural Disasters. World Bank Publications. ISBN 9780821382684. 
  16. ^ abcdSinha, Anil (2003). "The Gujarat Earthquake 2001"(PDF). Asian Disaster Reduction Center. Asian Disaster Reduction Center. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  17. ^ abcByahut, Sweta (Fall 2014). "Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Planning Using Land Readjustment in Bhuj (India)". Journal of the American Planning Association. 80 (4): 440. doi:10.1080/01944363.2014.989132 – via Academic Search Complete. 
  18. ^Byahut, Sweta; Mittal, Jay (2016). "Using Land Readjustment in Rebuilding the Earthquake-Damaged City of Bhuj, India". Journal of Urban Planning and Development. 143: 05016012. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)UP.1943-5444.0000354. 

External links[edit]

U.S. Air Force personnel preparing relief supplies on Feb. 3, 2001.

The Impact of Catastrophes on National and Regional Economies: A Case Study of Gujarat

Presented at the World Bank, Washington conference on Financing the Risks of Natural Disasters, June 2-3, 2003

Ashok K. Lahiri

Chief Economic Adviser

Government of India

Scheme of presentation

I.Gujarat : Disaster on a day of celebration

II. Economic consequences of the earthquake

III. India: Natural Disaster Management

I. Gujarat : Disaster on a day of celebration

51st Republic Day on January 26, 2001


  • 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.
  • 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 Richter.
  • 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.
  • Panic
  • Looting.
  • Breakdown of social order.
  • Loss of industrial output.
  • Loss of business.
  • Disruption of marketing systems.

A summary

  • The earthquake devastated Kutch. Practically all buildings and structures of Kutch were brought down.
  • Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Surendaranagar and Patan were heavily damaged.
  • Nearly 19,000 people died. Kutch alone reported more than 17,000 deaths.
  • 1.66 lakh people were injured. Most were handicapped for the rest of their lives.
  • The dead included 7,065 children (0-14 years) and 9,110 women.
  • There were 348 orphans and 826 widows.

Loss classification

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

II. Economic Consequences of the Earthquake

Disaster loss, reconstruction cost and output loss

  • ADB and World Bank’s Gujarat Earthquake Assessment Mission visited Gujarat during February 11-22, 2001 for assessing the economic impact of the 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.

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.
  • Holiday
  • Extra fatalities among women
  • Effect on dependency ratio
  • Farming and textiles

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

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
  • Reconstruction costs (Rs. 106 billion) and loss estimates (Rs. 99 billion) are different
  • Public good considerations

Impact on GDP

  • Applying ICOR
  • Rs. 99 billion – deduct a third as loss of current value added.
  • ICOR of 4
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Impact on Revenue (contd.)

  • 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% (2000-01) 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.

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 damaged.
  • 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.

III. What Earthquakes do

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)

IV. India : Natural Disaster Management

A Participatory Approach

  • Disaster management is primarily responsibility of State Governments.
  • The Government of India supplements state through policy and administrative response.
  • Policy response comprises of activating administrative machinery for assisting relief measures and monitoring progress.
  • Administrative response comprises of primary and secondary relief functions.

Relief functions: Primary and Secondary


  • Operate warning systems.
  • Restore and maintain uninterrupted communication.
  • Maintain transportation for evacuation & movement of essential commodities.
  • Ensure availability of drugs & medicines.
  • Mobilise financial resources.

Secondary :

  • Rehabilitation through military aid to civil authorities
  • Coordinating activities of state and voluntary agencies
  • Preparing contingency plans for crops, cattle preservation, nutrition and health measures.
  • Providing technical and technological inputs for drinking water.

Financial arrangements

  • Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) in each state.
  • The CRF allocation during the period 2000-05 has been increased to Rs 11007.56 crore as compared with Rs 6304.27 crore during 1995-2000.
  • The efforts are supplemented by provision of additional assistance from National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) during severe calamities.

Calamity Relief Fund (CRF)

  • Came into force from April 1990.
  • Set up by each state for financing natural calamity relief assistance (earthquake, cyclone, flood etc.).
  • Financial share of 3:1 between the Government of India and states.
  • The government of India’s share comes in as grant-in-aid.
  • A state-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the state administers the Fund.

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.

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 PM’s 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 million.
  • 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.

Thank You.


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