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Seismicity of Jharkhand Depth in Kilometres  
Seismicity of Jharkhand
Earthquake History
Largest Earthquake
Seismic Hazard
Significant Earthquakes

Capital - Ranchi

Population (Census 2001)

Major Urban Centres
Jamshedpur pop. 1,101,804
Dhanbad pop. 1,064,357

Earthquake History
Recently Jharkhand has not moderate to large earthquakes. Small tremors have occurred in the region as well as along the borders with the adjoining states of Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. The Tatapani Fault in the the western part of the state has been active (1) since the Holocene period and extends across the border into the neighbouring state of Chhatisgarh. The Munger-Saharsa Ridge Marginal Fault (1) runs in a north-south direction through the eastern districts of the state before entering West Bengal. 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.

Largest Instrumented Earthquake in Jharkhand
05 August 1979 - Dublabera-Majhgaon area, Jharkhand, Mb 4.7 (1).
22.100 N, 84.900 E, OT=01:18:37 UTC (1)
This event is located along the state border between Jharkhand and Orissa, near the town of Daspur in north-eastern Orissa.

Seismic Hazard
The seismic hazard map of India was updated in 2000 (3) by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). With the exception of the merging of Zones I and II, there are no major changes in the new map with regards to the BIS 1984 map. Northern districts of Jharkhand that lie along the border with the neighbouring state of Bihar as well as the districts in the north-eastern part of the state lie in Zone III. The maximum intensity expected in these areas would be around MSK VII. All of the southern districts including the cities of Ranchi and Jamshedpur lie in Zone II. The maximum intensity expected in these areas would be around MSK VI.

In 1999, the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Programme (GSHAP) published a map (2) displaying areas that could expect to have a peak ground acceleration (PGA) with a 10% probability of exceedance in 50 years. According to this map, the southern districts of Ranchi and Paschimi Singhbhum and parts of Hazaribagh the maximum PGA values expected lie in the range of 0.06g. The north-eastern districts of Godda, Pakaur and Sahibganj have the highest hazard and the maximum expected PGA could reach 0.07g. The districts of Bokaro, Chatra, Gumla, Lohardaga, Kodarma and Purbi Singhbhum could expect maximum PGA values in the range of 0.04g to 0.05g. The remaining districts of the state could expect PGA values below 0.03g.

It must be noted that both, BIS and GSHAP estimate 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.

Significant Earthquakes in Jharkhand
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 4.5 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:
OT=Origin Time, Mw=Moment Magnitude, Ms=Surface Wave magnitude, Mb=Body Wave Magnitude, ML=Local Magnitude, M?=Magnitude Type unknown

31 July 1868 - Daru Kharika-Hazaribagh area, Jharkhand.
24.000 N, 85.500 E (1)
Maximum observed intensity VI (4).

30 September 1868 - Tutilawa-Tandwa area, Jharkhand.
24.000 N, 85.000 E (4)
Maximum observed intensity VII (4).

15 January 1934 - Indo-Nepal Border region, Mw 8.0 (6)
26.500 N, 86.500 E, OT=08:43:25 UTC (1)
Close to 10,700 people killed in Bihar and Nepal. Heavy damage in the towns of Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Dharbhanga, and Munger (Monghyr). Damage extended to many parts of northern Jharkhand in the Rajmahal Hills and tremors were felt strongly throughout the state.

08 May 1963 - Bijakuli-Banei area, Orissa, Mb 5.2 (1)
21.700 N, 84.900 E, D=033.0 kms, OT=14:15:03 UTC (1)
This area is located to the east of Sambalpur in Orissa. A higher magnitude of 6.0 is often listed for this event (5).

05 August 1979 - Dublabera-Majhgaon area, Jharkhand, Mb 4.7 (1).
22.100 N, 84.900 E, OT=01:18:37 UTC (1)
This event is located along the state border between Jharkhand and Orissa, near the town of Daspur in north-eastern Orissa.

17 February 1985
- Rajauli area, Bihar, Mb 4.7 (1).
24.670 N, 85.480 E, OT=23:06:55 UTC (1)
This event is located along the state border between Jharkhand and Bihar, near the town of Rajauli in southern Bihar.

20 October 2003
- Dhanbad area, Bihar, M? 4.0 (IMD).
23.730 N, 86.580 E, OT=00:39:52 UTC (IMD)
Felt strongly in Dhanbad and Bokaro. Very minor damage reported from Bokaro. Also felt in Ranchi.


01) 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.

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.

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

04) 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.

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

Pacheco, Javier F., and Sykes, Lynn R., "Seismic moment catalog of large shallow earthquakes, 1900 to 1989", Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 82, no. 3, p. 1306 - 1349, 1992.

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

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Updated: 22 October, 2003.