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M5.4 Suchha Earthquake, 2003


25 March 2003


WNW of Suchha, Bhutan


18:51:26 UTC (00:51:26 BTT)


27.255 N (NEIC)


89.379 E (NEIC)


50.9 kms (NEIC)


Mw 5.4 (NEIC); ML 5.4 (IMD)

Additional Info


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A moderate earthquake struck the Bhutan Himalayas on 26 March 2003 at 01:21 AM Bhutan local time. It had a magnitude of Mw=5.4 and lasted close to 40-seconds.

The earthquake was centred 7.4 kms WNW of Suchha, Bhutan,
16.9 kilometres SSW of Paro International Airport, Paro, Bhutan,
36.4 kilometres SW of Thimphu, Bhutan,
43.9 kilometres N of Phuntsholing, Bhutan,
50.1 kilometres ESE of Xarsingma (Xizang), China,
77.2 kilometres E of Gangtok (Sikkim), India,
77.4 kilometres SW of Punakha, Bhutan,
115 kilometres ENE of Darjeeling (West Bengal), India,
170 kilometres N of Rangpur (Rajshahi), Bangladesh.

The shock was felt strongly for 10-seconds in Bhutan including at Thimphu and a few buildings developed new cracks. Many people were woken up and ran outdoors. At Phuentsholing, near the India-Bhutan border, people were shaken awake and ran outdoors. Walls of buildings trembled under the impact of the shock and electricity supply was cut for 30-minutes.

The earthquake was also felt in adjoining parts of eastern and north-east India. In West Bengal, it was felt for several seconds at Shiliguri and in parts of north Bengal. Its intensity is said to have "surpassed other recent quakes". People were woken up at Shiliguri and remained outdoors for half an hour, fearing aftershocks. In Meghalaya, the earthquake was felt for a few seconds in the state capital, Shillong. It was also felt at Guwahati in Assam. Tremors were also experienced Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, north-western Assam, and all of north Bengal, including the districts of North Dinajpur and Darjeeling.

Tremors were also felt in northern Bangladesh. A shock lasting 5-seconds was experienced at Sylhet in eastern Bangladesh. At Pachagarh, the tremor was felt moderately for 40-seconds spreading panic among the populace. There was also panic in Thakurgaon when it was shaken for close to 40-seconds. The strongest tremors in Bangladesh, were felt in Rangpur, where they lasted over 40-seconds and numerous old buildings developed cracks. Resident of Kurigram also reported the quake and said that it lasted 40-seconds. Mild tremors were experienced for 4-seconds at Sherpur. This earthquake were also reported from eastern Nepal and parts of southern Xizang, China.

01) National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC), Golden, USA.
India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi.
03) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Map Disclaimer
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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