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Earthquakes in Karnataka & Goa, India

State - Karnataka, India
Capital - Bengalooru (Bangalore)
Population - 52,733,958 (2001)

- Goa, India
Capital - Panaji (Panjim)
Population - 1,343,998 (2001)

Million+ Cities
Bangalore - pop. 5,686,844

Population per district (Top 5)
Bengalooru (urban) - pop. 6,537,124
Belagaavi - pop.
Kalburgi - pop.
Mysooru - pop.
Tumkooru - pop. 2,584,711
North Goa - pop.
South Goa - pop.

Earthquake History
In recent years much of the seismic activity in the state of Karnataka has been in the south, in the Mysore-Bangalore region. Historically tremors have occurred in many other parts of the state such as Bellary. Recent studies (7) have identified several active faults in the region, in particular in the coastal plain near the towns of Bhatkal and Udipi, trending in an ESE-WNW direction. Many of the faults continue (2, 7) offshore into the Arabian Sea trending in the same direction. There is also no evidence (7) of the southward continuation of the West Coast Fault in the Konkan regions of the neighbouring state of Maharashtra as previously believed. However, it must be stated that proximity to faults does not necessarily translate into a higher hazard as compared to areas located further away, as damage from earthquakes depends on numerous factors such as subsurface geology as well as adherence to the building codes.

Seismic Hazard

The seismic hazard map of India was updated in 2000 (5) by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). According to the new map, the state of Karnataka lies in Zones II and III. The coastal districts as well as the northern interior districts along the border with Maharashtra, lie in Zone III, where a maximum MSK intensity of VII can be expected. The remaining districts, as well as the city of Bangalore lie in Zone II. Interestingly, the Bellary region, which experienced a strong earthquake in the 1840's has been downgraded to Zone II. The 1984 BIS Zoning map had placed it in Zone III. It must be noted that BIS estimates the hazard, based in part, on previous known earthquakes. Since the earthquake database in India is still incomplete, especially with regards to earthquakes prior to the historical period (before 1800 A.D.), these zones offer a rough guide of the earthquake hazard in any particular region and need to be regularly updated (See also: GSHAP Hazard Map for Karnataka & Goa).

Largest Instrumented Earthquake in Karnataka & Goa
12 February 1970 - Hassan area, Karnataka, M 5.0 (2).
13.000 N, 76.100 E, OT=17:09:53 UTC (2)
No comments.

Significant Earthquakes in Karnataka & Goa
The following list briefly outlines known earthquakes in this region which either had observed intensities of
V or higher (historical events) or had known magnitudes of M4.5 or more (instrumented events). General locations are provided for historical events for which "generalized" epicentral co-ordinates are available. Some events which were significant for other reasons are also included. This list will be updated whenever newer information is available. Please note that Magnitude and Intensity are NOT THE SAME. All events are within the state or union territory covered on this page unless stated otherwise.

Acronyms Used:
D=Depth, OT=Origin Time, Mw=Moment Magnitude, Ms=Surface Wave magnitude, Mb=Body Wave Magnitude, ML=Local Magnitude, M?=Magnitude Type unknown

This listing will be modified without notice. Please check back for the latest version when using it elsewhere. Additionally, please reproduce using appropriate CITATIONS/CREDITS.

August 1507 A.D. - Billankote area, Karnataka (4).
Maximum observed intensity III (4). This is the earliest known earthquake in Karnataka. This information comes from a stone inscription (4) in the village of Billankote near Bangalore.

1653-54 A.D. - Bijapur area, Karnataka (4).
Maximum observed intensity III (4).

22 August 1828 - Bantwal-Mudbidri area, Karnataka.
13.000 N, 75.000 E (2)
Maximum observed intensity VII (7). This region lies to the east of Mangalore.

12 March 1829 - Mangalore area, Karnataka, M? 5.7 (7).
13.000 N, 75.500 E  (7)
Maximum observed intensity VII (7). See also 8, 9. This might be the same event as one listed for 13 March 1829 near Bangalore (2, 7).

13 March 1829 - Bangalore area, Karnataka, M? 5.8 (7).
13.000 N, 77.600 E (2)
Maximum observed intensity V (2). This might be the same event as one listed for 12 March 1829 near Mangalore (7).

01 April 1843 - Bellary-Kolagallu area, Karnataka, M? 6.0 (3).
15.200 N, 76.900 E (3)
Maximum observed intensity VIII (3). There was some damage to civil structures (13) in the epicentral region. It was felt (13) in an area with a radius of 300 kilometres.

23 August 1858 - Bangalore area, Karnataka, M? 5.8 (7).
13.000 N, 77.600 E (2)
Maximum observed intensity V (2).

24 July 1861 - Raichur area, Karnataka.
16.400 N, 77.300 E (3)
Maximum observed intensity V (3).

13 January 1862 - Raichur area, Karnataka.
16.400 N, 77.300 E (3)
Maximum observed intensity V (3).

08 February 1900 - Coimbatore area, Tamil Nadu, M? 6.0 (10)
10.800 N, 76.800 E (1)
Known as the Coimbatore earthquake, it was felt over a large section of south India and is the largest event during the historical period.

07 January 1916 - Bangalore area, Karnataka, Ms 5.0 (11).
13.000 N, 77.300 E (
Maximum observed intensity V (2).

12 February 1970 - Hassan area, Karnataka, Mb 5.0 (2).
13.000 N, 76.100 E, OT=17:09:53 UTC (2)
No comments.

16 May 1972 - Malavalli area, Karnataka, Ms 4.6 (1).
12.400 N, 77.000 E, OT=16:36:42 UTC (1)
This region lies to the south of Mysore.

17 May 1972 - Malavalli area, Karnataka, Ms 4.5 (1).
12.400 N, 77.000 E, OT=09:59:53 UTC (1)
This region lies to the south of Mysore.

15 November 1973 - Almel-Sindgi area, Karnataka, Ms 4.0 (2).
17.000 N, 76.300 E (2)
Maximum observed intensity V (3). this earthquake was located in the district of Bijapur in northern Karnataka.

12 May 1975 - Shimoga area, Karnataka, Mb 4.7 (2).
13.800 N, 75.300 E, OT=15:09:28 UTC (2)
Maximum observed intensity V (2). Felt in Shimoga and the surrounding areas, within a radius of 140 kilometres. This is the first known earthquake in this region (2).

20 March 1984 - Denkanikota area, Karnataka, Ms 4.6 (1).
12.550 N, 77.770 E, OT=10:45:22 UTC (2)
Felt (14) in southern Karnataka at Bangalore and Mysore and in Tamil Nadu at Krishnagiri. Inteisity VI (15) was observed at Kelamangalam and Kowthalam in Karnataka. Cracks were seen in plaster and utensils were overturned at these places. A section of a mud wall also collapsed and a 2-metre tall papaya tree was uprooted (14).

27 November 1984 - Masti-Berikal area, Karnataka, M? 4.5 (7).
12.870 N, 78.000 E (7)
No comments.

03 May 1990 - Dharmasthala area, Karnataka, M? 4.6 (7).
13.000 N, 75.500 E (7)
This region lies between Mangalore and Hassan.

30 September 1993 - Killari area, Maharashtra, Mw 6.2 (12)
18.090 N, 76.470 E, OT=22:25:50 UTC (12)
Among the deadliest intraplate earthquakes on record. Close to 8,000 people were killed and thousands injured in the pre-dawn earthquake. Many villages in the epicentral area, around Killari were razed to the ground. 55 people were killed in the neighbouring state of Karnataka, in Gulbarga district. Strong tremors were experienced at Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai and across much of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. Tremors were felt as far as Chennai.

14 November 1993 - Tallakad-Kollegal area, Karnataka, M? 4.5 (7).
12.200 N, 77.050 E (7)
This region lies to the south of Mysore. Also see 8, 9.

29 January 2001 - Bengalooru (Bangalore)-South Karnataka region, ML 4.3
12.595 N, 77.220 E, D=015.0 kms, OT=02:37:47 UTC
A light earthquake struck Bengalooru and the adjoining areas, on 29 January 2001 at 08:07 AM local time causing considerable panic and minor damage to property in southern Karnataka, India. The earthquake had a magnitude of ML=4.3.

10 July 2002
- Koppal region, central Karnataka, ML 3.5
15.340 N, 76.175 E, D=011.0 kms, OT=14:09:06 UTC
A mild earthquake struck central Karnataka, on 10 July 2002 at 19:39 PM local time. It had a magnitude of ML=3.5 and was felt in some parts of the districts of Ballari (Bellary), Koppal and Gadag.

January 200
4 - Canacona region, South Goa
A series of minor tremors were felt in towns in Canacona taluka in the district of South Goa in January 2004 beginning 7 January 2004. The exact location of the epicentre of this earthquake is unknown at this point though it does seem to be somewhere in the Canacona region in southern Goa. The tremors were not felt in adjoining districts of Karnataka.

01) Chandra, U., "Earthquakes of Peninsular India--A seismotectonic study", Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 67, No. 5, pp. 1387 - 1413, 1977.

02) Dasgupta, S., Pande, P., Ganguly, D., Iqbal, Z, Sanyal, K, Venkatraman, N.V., Dasgupta, S., Sural, B., Harendranath, L., Mazumdar, K., Sanyal, S., Roy, K., Das, L.K., Misra, P.S., Gupta, H.,  "Seismotectonic Atlas of India and its Environs", Geological Survey of India, 2000.

Rao, B. Ramalingeswara and Rao, P. Sitapathi, "Historical seismicity of Peninsular India", Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 74, No. 6, pp.2519-2533, 1984.

Iyengar, R.N, Sharma, D, and Siddiqui, J.M, "Earthquake History of India in Medieval Times", Indian Journal of histroy Science, 34 (3), 1999.

05) IS 1893 (Part 1): 2002 Indian Standard Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures Part 1 General Provisions and Buildings (Fifth Revision).

Giardini, D., Grünthal, G., Shedlock, K.M., Zhang, P., "The GSHAP Global Seismic Hazard Map", Annali di Geofisica, Vol. 42, No.6, p. 1225 - 1230, 1999.

07) Valdiya, K.S., "Tectonic resurgance of the Mysore plateau and surrounding regions in cratonic Southern India", Current Science, Vol.81, No.8, pp. 1068 -1089, 2001.

Gowd, T.N. & Srinivasa Rao, S.V., Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol.97, 11878-11888, 1992.

09) Rajendran, K. & Rajendran, C.P., Proc.2nd. Ind. Nat. Conf. on Harbours and Ocean Engineering, CESS, Thiruvananthapuram, pp 305-314, 1997.

10) Tandon, A.N., and Srivastava, H.N., "Earthquake occurrence in India: Earthquake Engineering (Jai Krishna Vol.)", pp. 1 - 48, Sarita Prakashan, Meerut, 1974.

India Meteorological Department, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, Golden, CO, USA.

13) Mathur, S.M., "Physical Geology of India", National Book Trust of India, 1998.

14) Srivastava, H.N. and Das, S.K., "Historical Seismicity and Earthquake Catalogues for the Indian Region", Historical Seismograms and Earthquakes of the world, Ed. W.H.K. Lee, H. Meyers, K. Shimazaki, Academic Press, 1988.

15) Iyengar, R.N., and Meera, K., "Earthquake in south India on March 20, 1984", Bulletin of the Indian Society of Earthquake Technology, 1984.

16) W
essel, P., and Smith, W.H.F., "Free software helps map and display data", EOS Trans., AGU, 1991, 72, 441, 445.

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