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M7.6 Kashmir-Kohistan Earthquake, 2005


8 October 2005


SE of Ghori, Kashmir


03:50:40 UTC (08:50:40 PST)  


34.432 N (NEIC)


73.537 E (NEIC)


20.0 kms (NEIC)


Mw 7.6 (HRV), 7.3 (NEIC).

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A major earthquake struck the India-Pakistan border on the morning of 8 October 2005. It had a magnitude of Mw=7.6 and was felt strongly in much of Pakistan, northern India and eastern Afghanistan. The earthquake resulted at least 74,661 deaths in northern Pakistan and adjoining parts of Afghanistan and India and is by far one of the deadliest in the sub-continent. Tremors from the earthquake were felt more than a thousand kilometres away in the Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This earthquake is often also referred to as the "Pakistan Earthquake", the "South Asia Earthquake", the Kashmir Earthquake" or the "Muzaffarabad Earthquake". This is one of the strongest earthquakes in this general area since a Mw=7.6 in 1555.

The earthquake was centred 4.1 kms SE of Ghori (Pir Panjal Mountains), Kashmir Himalayas,
10.4 kms NE of Muzaffarabad (Pir Panjal Mountains), Kashmir Himalayas,
30.3 kms W of Tangdhar (Jammu & Kashmir), India,
60.4 kms NW of Uri (Jammu & Kashmir), India,
90.2 kms NNE of Islamabad (F.C.A.), Pakistan,
122 kms NW of Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), India,
328 kms NNW of Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore (Punjab), Pakistan,
512 kms NNE of Multan (Punjab), Pakistan,
740 kms NW of Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (N.C.R.), India,

Fatalities & Injuries | Damage & Felt Effects | Aftershocks | Seiches & other phenomenon

According to figures released by the NDMA in Islamabad, there were 73,338 fatalities in northern Pakistan along with 1,28,309 injuries. The greatest number of casualties were in Muzaffarabad district where 34,173 fatalities occurred. According to figures released by the NDMA in Delhi, there were 1,309 deaths in Jammu & Kashmir while another 6,622 were injured. Most of the deaths occurred in Srinagar division which recorded 1,190 fatalities. 10 fatalities were reported in north India and several people were injured; in Punjab, 2 people including a small child were killed in wall collapses at Batala and at Dera Baba Nayak respectively. An elderly person died after a minor fall at Firozpur while 6 persons were injured in wall collapses in the same town. Some students were injured in stampedes at Ludhiana. Several persons were injured in Ludhiana including one woman who fell down a staircase. Two people were injured in Amritsar in a wall collapse at Ghee Mandi. In Himachal Pradesh, a student was seriously injured after falling down a staircase at Golad. In Haryana, three people died of cardiac arrest at Panchkula while another person died after being electrocuted at Sadaura. Two injuries were reported from Fatehabad and Kaithal respectively. Two people were killed in Delhi after being hit by falling debris. In Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), one person was killed and two were injured when a mound of mud collapsed upon them at Bairagiwala village, Vikasnagar in Dehradun. In Rajasthan, one person suffered minor injuries at Mankheda. In Uttar Pradesh, one person repairing the loud speaker on the top of a mosque fell and was seriously injured at Saharanpur while an infant was slightly hurt at Berki. Some school students slightly injured in a rush to leave their classrooms at Banda, Bareilly, Bijnour, Chandinagar and Meerut. Press reports also spoke of one person being injured after falling into a tube well near Sardhana. Two persons were injured after falling off a motorbike in Haldaun when the driver felt giddy during the tremor and two persons were also injured at Naugawa near Rampur.

Landslides triggered by aftershocks killed 1 person in Jammu & Kashmir on 15 October and 6 persons near Balakot on 17 October.

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Damage & Felt Effects

Live PTV broadcast in Islamabad disrupted by the earthquake

In Pakistan controlled regions of the epicentral tract, a large number of the deaths occurred in Jhelum and Neelum Valleys. The town of Muzaffarabad lost an estimated 80% of its buildings. The nearby town of Balakot was completely destroyed along with several mountain villages. The towns of Bagh and Rawalakot close to the Line of Control (LoC) also suffered extensive damage. Major landslides and rock falls buried some mountain villages and wiped out roads in the region. Near Muzaffarabad, a large landslide in the Neelam valley dammed the river of the same name. Landslides also temporarily blocked the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway while the Aman Setu on the LoC suffered some damage. Landslides were also reported in the Hazara region including at Astore, Gilgit and Skardu where the earthquake was felt. Tremors were felt across much of northern Pakistan for several minutes. In the cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, violent shocks sent most people rushing outdoors. In Islamabad, one wing of the 10-storey Margalla Towers collapsed killed many people. Elsewhere in the city people found it difficult to stand and those outdoors in cars found it difficult to steer. In Rawalpindi, many buildings were damaged and some deaths were reported when school buildings collapsed. Damage, including wall & roof collapses were reported from Daska, Gujjar Khan, Gujrat City, Gurjanwala, Jhelum, Hafizabad, Murree, Mandi Bahaudin, Sialkot and Taxila in northern Pakistan. In the city of Lahore, some buildings collapsed and resulted in 2 deaths. Many buildings in the city including the Museum developed cracks. Damage to buildings was also reported from as far as Bhakkar, Leiah and Taunsa Sharif. Strong tremors were felt at Bannu, Chakwal, Faisalabad, Jhang, Multan, Sargodha, Sheikhpura and Peshawar. The earthquake was felt as far as Quetta in Balochistan and at Rahimyar Khan in the southern part of the Punjab province.

In India, the greatest damage occurred along the LoC near Uri in the Neelum/Kishanganga Valley. Villages like Tangdhar were heavily damaged and landslides cut off the region from the rest of the state for several days. The main town of Uri suffered extensive damage from the earthquake and from a fire that broke out shortly afterwards destroying the main market. Near Uri, a landslide swept away a passenger bus into a gorge. Sand vents were reported in the western part of the Kashmir Valley. Several historical mosques including the shrines at Sheikh Noor-ud-din Noorani at Charar-e Sharif and Hazratbal & Jamia Masjid in Srinagar developed cracks. Severe shaking was experienced at Srinagar where many people found it difficult to stand or move during the mainshock. Many buildings were damaged in the city. The television tower at Shankaracharya was also damaged. Elsewhere, buildings suffered various grades of damage in Anantnag, Baramulla, Jammu, Kupwara, Poonch, Rajouri, Riasi and Udhampur. The earthquake was strongly felt at the Vaishno Devi shrine but no damage was reported from here. Bunkers along the LoC were destroyed during the quake claiming the lives of many defence personnel.

Elsewhere in north India, in the state of Punjab, some buildings were seriously damaged & collapsed at Amritsar, especially at Sattowala Bazaar while a 100-year old chimney fell at the Dayalbagh Spinning Mills. A fire broke out at a computer store due to a short circuit in the Lawrence Market area of the city. Damage was reported from Batala, Dasuya, Gurdaspur, Ludhiana, Paghwara while buildings developed cracks at Bholath, Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi. In Himachal Pradesh, buildings developed cracks at Mandi, Shimla, Sundernagar and Una. Isolated incidents of wall collapses were also reported from places such as Shimla. Landslides and rock falls were also reported from some mountainous reaches of the state. In Haryana, minor damage occurred at Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Jind, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhavanigarh and Panchkula. A lamp was knocked over in a temple at Kalait resulting in a small fire. Residents of high-rise buildings in Gurgaon rushed outdoors where several high-rise buildings, including Hamilton Court developed cracks. In Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), strong shocks were felt at Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar & Roorkee. Very minor damage reported was also reported from Narendranagar. Residents of Dehradun & Roorkee saw trees and telephone poles shaking. Tremors were reportedly stronger in the Gharwal region as compared to the Kumaon region. The quake was felt in most northern & central districts while minor damage was reported from Alwar, Bandikui, Jaipur & Hanumangarh. In Uttar Pradesh, damage was reported from Bagpat, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Meerut and Sardhana. At Babawali near Laksar the railway line is alleged to have been slightly damaged and trains were run at reduced speeds for some time. A transformer also caught fire at Saharanpur. Two trees were reportedly uprooted on the banks of the Bhakra River near Bilaspur (Rampur district). Residents of high-rise buildings in Ahmedabad, Godhra & Vadodara in Gujarat, Bhopal, Indore & Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Kanpur & Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh felt mild tremors.

Tremors were also felt in Kabul, Afghanistan and in parts of Central Asia. At Kabul airport, aircraft were seen rocking to and fro during the quake. At least one person was killed in a wall collapse in eastern Afghanistan. Tremors were also felt at Jalalabad and as far as Mazar-e Sharif. It was also reportedly strongly felt in the provinces of Badakhshan and Takkhar but no damage has been reported from here. In Tajikistan, it was felt at Dushanbe and Khorog.

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Several powerful earthquakes shook the region included a large event at 10:46 UTC that was widely felt in northern Pakistan and north India. Several aftershocks have been strong enough to cause panic as far as Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Another M5.1 aftershock on 15 October left 1 person dead, 3 injured and another missing & presumed dead in the Uri sector of Jammu & Kashmir. A M5.6 aftershock on 19 October was felt as far as Peshawar and in parts of north India.

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Seiches & other phenomenon
Seismic seiches were observed at Pehowa in Haryana, at Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, at Kharagpur in West Bengal, at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and at numerous locations throughout Bangladesh. Remote aquifer response was reported from Kota in Rajasthan. During the earthquake large waves were seen in the reservoir of the Mangla Dam. Neither the Mangla or the Tarbela dams suffered any damage during the earthquake. Waves were also seen in the Guru Gobindsagar Reservoir in Himachal Pradesh while at the Anandpur Sahib & Nangal Hydel canals in Punjab, water splashed 2-feet into the air.

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01) National Earthquake Information Centre (NEIC), Golden, USA.
Harvard Centroid Moment Tensor Solution (HRV), Harvard, USA.
03) Macroseismic information has been compiled by the ASC from reports by local media and local NGO personnel.

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Page Updated: 31 Oct 2008 | Website Disclaimer

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