PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Fw: First Reports from India
From: "Larry Cochrane" cochrane@..............
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 20:06:03 -0800

From Edward Cranswick....

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 9:22 AM
Subject: First Reports from India

> Topic:  First Reports from India
> Author: Buddy Schweig schweig@................
> About 20 of you have sent me Bill Lettis's first report to Susan
> Tubessing of EERI.  Bill is co-leader of the EERI team.  Here it is:
> Dear Susan
> I must rush.  It is impossible to get connections on e-mail, so I have
> long distance, and am sending this online.
> We have been here for two full days.  A quick update.  Please send this
> update to the extended e-mail list on my original e-mails (i.e., JP
> Wesnousky, Rockwell, Bray, etc.  just to keep everyone informed.
> In no particular order, just brain dump at 2 AM.
> Everyone is working hard and doing great.  We have a good team.
> First Day - hectic coordination.  No real access, fuel problem for
> in the field (but not really, so all is okay), etc, etc.  I think
> that I am gulliBill.
> No food or water readily available like Turkey or Taiwan.  EVERYONE should
> bring full supply of dried food, nuts, etc to stay in the field until
> conditions improve.  Need supply of bottled water everyday - daytime temps
> the 80s, dry.  No wind though.  Bring tent, sleeping bag, and other camp
> desired, if you want to spend time in the field.  Hotels may be available,
> are checking in Ghandi Dam, but most places are damaged.  We will see.
> Camping may be available with the United Nations near Bhuj, but not sure.
> Indian Military not much help so far.  We will know tomorrow if we can
> at the military base.
> Money - bring cash if you go in the field.  Hotels in Ahmedabad take visa.
> Flying, cars etc want cash.
> Flying is very expensive.  $550/hour for fixed wing and $1000 to 1500
> for helicopter.  Need to fly in from Ahmedabad so time is minimum of 6 hou
> to give two hours of reconn.  Flying conditions not good.  Flight paths
> heavily restricted and elevation mandatory over 3000 feet to avoid
> traffic.  In other words - lousy air recon at this time.  We NEED to get
> Governement of India to help get permission for better recon- we will work
> this over next few days.  A helicopter MAY be available in Bhuj airport,
> we save 4 hours of ferry time from Ahmedabad.  We can probably arrange
> I spoke to pilot directly.   Probably plan to spend 3 to 10 k for flying,
> you want  to go.
> Air recon results - Interesting:
> We did not observe ANY evidence of surface fault rupture.  Highly unusual
> given the size of event and amount of probable slip.  We did see about 1/2
> of surface cracking in epicentral area, but this appears to be related to
> liquefaction.  We will visit this area in the field.  However, due to
> restrictions, we were not able to recon one of the main candidate faults
> the area.  This fault is the eastern continuation of the Allah Bund fault
> is right en echelon to the Allah Bund (called  the Island Belt Fault).  We
> will try to visit this fault in the field.  It is close to the Pakistani
> border, hence flying restrictions.  Rockwell and Wesnousky - if you are
> coming mainly to characterize surface fault rupture, you may want to wait.
> It is interesting that no one has reported fault rupture, including local
> people (valuable source usually), media, government, GSI geologists who
> been looking for one week now, and we did not see any from the air.  This
> strongly suggests that if any occurred, it is up north away from
> an the eastern exstension of the Allah Bund.  We will see.  ALSO, does
> have any preliminary interferometry data to help identify the deformation
> field???  This will be a BIG help in doing future recon.
> Lots of liquefaction.  At least 500 km2 north of Bhuj on the Banni plains.
> Maybe up to 1000 km2.  Mostly sand blows, with lots of water - standing
> shallow lakes now in many areas.  A few lateral spreads, not many that we
> from the air.  We should definitely try to describe the lateral extent and
> magnitude of liquefaction relative to epicenter and strong motion data -
> great possible data set.
> Kandla Port - did not look too bad from the air.  Road to port definitely
> damaged from what appears to be lateral spreads.  No significant apparent
> damage observed from air.  We are visiting port in next two days.
> Stable Continental Shield??  I would say definitely not.  This area
> to be an actively growing fold and thrust belt.  Lots of anticlines with
> apparent Quaternary activity.  Folds are assymmetric, north vergent.  A
> possible fault scarps, but most scarps appear to be related to fold limbs.
> Definitely active folds, however.  Individualo folds are on the order of
> km long, in fold trends that are up to 200 km long.  Folds are en echelon
> each trend suggesting lateral component.  One fold appears to be deforming
> the modern mud flats along the coast east of Kandla.  Definitely active.
> Rate of shortening??  No idea yet.  Many rivers and washes draining the
> have impressive flights of fluvial terraces, suggesting fairly rapid
> of folds.  Great future Ph.D study - Tectonic Geomorph of the region -
> unfortuantely, no air photos are availble to map with.
> Computers/ safety/ etc.  Everything is okay.  Not really a problem as far
> I can tell, except e-mail connections are a bitch.
> Tapper Dam and Ghangi Dam.  These are cities, NOT dams.  When someone says
> that these are damaged, they mean the cities.  (Dam mean town or city in
> Hindi).
> Embankment dams.  We observed at least four (one large and three small)
> embankment dams that experienced toe failures at upstream side., one dam
> nearly failed it appears.
> Tank farms near Kandla.  Tanks appeared to be okay,  No major tank spills,
> but someone needs to check more carefully.  However, at least two large
> spills are present, apparently from pipe (?) failures.  We are checking
> out.
> Salt ponds.  Lots of salt ponds are around, especially east of Bhuj and
> along the coast.  The salt ponds east of Bhuj (east of epicenter)
> both dike failures and seich failures or breaches.  Can this help with
> long-period ground motione stimates??
> Damage.  Ahmedabad survived very well, despite the many isolated building
> collapses.  We have all the buildings identified and they are easily
> We should compare the distribution of buildings damaged to geotechical
> conditions to try to see what controls threir failure (probably just some
> spotty construction we suspect).  No real "pattern" discernible yet
> type, spatial distribution, geologic condition, etc).
> Damage continued.  Bhuj heavily damaged, kind of like Golchuk, but far
> single story houses.  Dozens of small communities north and east of Bhuj
> (1000 to 5000 people), totally destroyed (80 to 100!!%) building collapse
> all types.  This is an interesting story in of itself, and not getting
> attention.  LOTS of local people lost in the relief effort because towns
> too small to get attention.  I don't know, but this might be an issue
> discussing (Krishna will look into this).
> Ancient wall of Bhuj (about 400 yrs??) heavily damaged.
> Ancient cities.  This area appears to have been widely settled BC
> but abandoned at some point.  This could be a great story if someone looks
> into it.  Lots of possible reasons for abandonment, but obvious one is
> earthquake.
> Ancient Rivers.  For some reason, several major tributaries to the Indus
> River have vanished or shifted course.  This apparently is because of
> and active growth of the fold and thrust belt.  It also helps to explain
> early people abandoned the area.  I do not think that climatic change
> the change in river course or disappearance of these rivers that are
> described in early history documents.
> Liquefaction along coast.  Some of the best offshore liquefaction that I
> ever seen.  Widespread offshore liquefaction was visible from the air
> east of Kandla Port.  Very interesting.  I don't know scientific value if
> Team Assignments.  Two teams of four have gone to field today, and will
> wherever they find shelter for the next two to three days.  (Geotech team
> with Sudhir Jain and Umesh Dayal, and Industrial facilities and Lifelines
> team with Gupta and Don B.)  Structures team - Rakesh Goel, Murty,  etc
> working for next day or so on building damage in Ahmedabad.  Geology team
> (lettis, hengesh, narula, chaubey) will go to field for next two to three
> days.
> Things are beginning to smooth out and logistics are improving.  This is
> really a great earthquake with lots of things to document.
> Sorry for the quick note, but I have been on line to US for over one hour
> need to get off.  I will try again in two days.
> Bill
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Eugene Schweig
> Central U.S. Coordinator
> Earthquake Hazards Program Office
> U.S. Geological Survey
> address:                                                (901) 678-4974
> U.S. Geological Survey                             Fax: (901) 678-4897
> 3876 Central Ave., Ste. 2
> MEMPHIS, TN  38152-3050
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Larry Cochrane <cochrane@..............>