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M6.5 Diglipur Earthquake, 2002


13 August 2002


E of Cadell Point, North Andaman Island


22:28:29 UTC (01:06:23 IST)


13.005 N (ISC)


93.105 E (ISC)


21.0 kms (ISC)


Mw 6.5 (NEIC; HRV)

Additional Info


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A strong earthquake struck northern parts of the Andaman Islands in the Andaman & Nicobar Archipelago, on 14 August 2002 at 03:58 AM local time. It had a magnitude of Mw=6.5 and is thought to have lasted close to 2-minutes. Several moderate aftershocks were felt in the region in the following days including two large events on the 14th and 18th of September 2002. The mainshock is believed to have generated a local tsunami in the Andaman Sea.

The earthquake was centred 10.7 kilometres E of Cadell Point (North Andaman Island), India,
23.8 kilometres ENE of Bonnington (Middle Andaman Island), India,
31.6 kilometres SSE of Diglipur (North Andaman Island), India
62.5 kilometres NNE of Rongat (Middle Andaman Island), India
114 kilometres NW of the Barren Island volcano, India,
136 kilometres WSW of the Narcondam Island volcano, India,
154 kilometres NNE of Port Blair (South Andaman Island), India,

275 kilometres NNE of Hut Bay (Little Andaman Island), India.

Despite its magnitude and location, this earthquake did not result in any deaths or injuries. Initial reports in the media said that two people had died at Aerial Bay. This was later proven to be false by local police.

On North Andaman Island, a jetty at Ariel Bay was damaged and 3-4 shops nearby collapsed. A wall in the vicinity also developed a crack; this was seconded by a government shipping official who reported some damage to a wharf and a few nearby houses. A culvert collapsed at Kalipur and forced the closure of the road which ran across it. A report by Sami Acharya of the Society of Andaman & Nicobar Ecology said that 40 houses had collapsed on Andaman Island. Diglipur is thought to have been worst affected, where many concrete government buildings housing the panchayat and junior engineer's offices and the police quarters were damaged. Wooded and bamboo houses were however unaffected.

Tremors from the mainshock were experienced on Smith Island, Ross Island, Mayabunder, Kalighat Baratang and at Port Blair. The tremors which lasted close to two minutes were felt strongly at Smith Island, Ross Island, Diglipur and Kalaghat Baratang. Light shaking was experienced at Mayabunder and at Port Blair.

A tsunami is reported to have struck Ross Island and Smith Island, located off the east coast of North Andaman. A lighthouse on East Island (uninhabited) was damaged by the earthquake and the tsunami, and 50-kilograms of mercury used in the beacon spilled as a result. The Central Pollution Control Board (C.P.B.C.) investigated this reported spill and initially did not rule out fish in the area being affected by toxicity which could then in turn threaten humans. Later on 17 September 2002, the C.P.B.C., in a press report, stated that 25-kilograms of mercury was retrieved from the sea and that it posed no threat to aquatic and human life in or near the Andaman Sea.

Several strong aftershocks occurred, including two large events on 14 and 18 September. The first of these two aftershocks had a magnitude of Mw=5.8 (NEIC) and occurred on 14 September 2002 at 19:58 UTC or on 15 September 2002 at 01:28 AM IST. The second event struck on 18 September 2002 at 21:01 UTC or on 19 September 2002 at 02:31 AM IST. It has a magnitude of Mw=5.5 (NEIC). The second event is known to have been felt at Diglipur and as far as Rangat

National Earthquake Information Centre, Golden, USA.
02) International Seismological Centre, Berkshire, UK.
03) Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution, Harvard, USA.
Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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International boundaries of India (especially Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) on the displayed map are from Google Maps. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India. That they are displayed on this page via Google Maps, is only for display purposes and this should not be misinterpreted as an endorsement of these boundaries by the Amateur Seismic Centre (ASC).

Page Updated: 21 Feb 2008 | Website Disclaimer

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