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M5.5 Puducherry Earthquake, 2001


25 September 2001


ESE of Kalapettai, Puducherry


14:56:55 UTC (20:26:55 IST)


11.984 N (ISC)


80.225 E (ISC)


10.0 kms (ISC)


Mw 5.5 (IMD), 5.2 (HRV)

Additional Info

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A moderate earthquake occurred in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the union territory of Puducherry, on 25 September 2001 at 20:26 PM local time resulting in three deaths and minor damage to property in Puducherry and coastal Tamil Nadu.  It had a magnitude of Mw=5.5.

The earthquake was centred 39.5 kilometres ESE of Kalapettai (Puducherry), India,
43.9 kilometres E of Puducherry (UT), India,
56.3 kilometres NE of Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu), India,
75 kilometres NE of Porto Novo (Tamil Nadu), India,
118 kilometres S of Chennai International Airport, Chennai (Tamil Nadu), India,
140 kilometres NNE of Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu), India,
298 kilometres SE of Bengalooru Airport, Bengalooru (Karnataka), India,
326 kilometres NE of Madurai (Tamil Nadu), India.

Three people died as a result of this earthquake. A 59-year old woman, Indhira, died of cardiac arrest at Alandur Road, in Saidapet, Chennai. Also in Chennai, a 15-year old student, K. Parthasarathy suffered fatal head injuries after he fell while running outdoors.
 In Thengaithittu village near Modeliarpet, a 42 year old man, Elumalai, reportedly died of cardiac arrest under the impact of the tremor and died.

The earthquake was felt widely for close to 18-seconds in eastern parts of the state of Tamil Nadu. The Union Territory of Puducherry reportedly felt the strongest tremors and people rushed out into the open when it hit, as houses and high-rise buildings shook. No damage however, has been reported from here. People also outdoors at Chengalpettu, Cuddalore and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu. Strong tremors were felt in the Chennai metropolitan area in Tamil Nadu. It was also felt at Adyar, Ambattur, Anna Nager, Anna Salai (Mount Road), Ayanavaram, Choolaimedu, Cheyyur, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Kodambakkam, Koothapakkam, Mambalam, Mogappair, Mylapore, Nungambakkam, Porur, Thiruvanmiyur, Triplicane, T.Nagar and Vadapalani. Most people felt the earthquake and rushed out into the open. Cars and trees were seen shaking due to the impact of the quake. Some houses in north Chennai are said to have developed cracks. Old buildings of the Slum Clearance Board and the Tamil Nadu Housing Board developed cracks. Evening shoppers at Spencer Plaza on Anna Salai, dropped their shopping bags and fled into the open and some cracks developed in the 7-storey building. A residential building on Natesan Street in Triplicane developed cracks while in Besant Nagar, household articles were knocked from tables and shelves. Nursing staff, doctors, pregnant women and women with new-born babies along with their relatives at the Government Hospital for Women and Children at Egmore, rushed outside. At a hospital in Kodambakkam, patients ran outside in panic after reportedly pulling out intravenous drips. People also rushed out of the Child's Trust Hospital in Nungambakkam. Staff at 'chennaionline.com' in T Nagar, ran down 4-storeys when they felt the tremor. It was also felt in the I.I.T. Chennai campus, strong enough to send everyone outdoors. The power supply failed in the Adyar area following the quake and telephone lines were temporarily down in Tambaram as well as in some areas on the outskirts of Chennai. The delta taxiway to the main runway at Chennai International Airport is also thought to have developed cracks. Three flights due around that time; Air Lanka from Colombo, Air India from Singapore and Jet Airways from Bengalooru were allowed to land only after runway checks.

Various parts of the state of Karnataka also felt a light tremor. In Bengalooru, the earthquake was felt Basavanagudi, Jalahalli West, Jayanagar, J.P. Nagar, I.T.I. Factory, M.G.Road, Old Madras Road and Shivajinagar. Window panes rattled violently in many parts of the city. One report stated that suspended objects were slightly disturbed. People also came out into the open in these areas. But other areas of Bengalooru like Banashankari, Basaweshwarnagar, Nagarbhavi, Nandini Layout and Vijayanagar, did not experience the quake. Mild tremors were also felt in other parts of Karnataka at Dod Ballapur, Kolar and Mangalooru. Light tremors were also felt in Chittoor and Tirupati, in the state of Andhra Pradesh for 10 - 15 seconds.

01) International Seismological Centre (ISC), Berkshire.
02) India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi.
Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution (HRV), Harvard, USA.
Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Page Updated: 21 Feb 2008 | Website Disclaimer

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