Great Assam Earthquake – 1950

On August 15, 1950, a massive earthquake of 8.6 magnitude hit Assam. Also called as Tibet earthquake or Medog earthquake, it was followed by thousands of aftershocks, most of which were of magnitude 6.0 or greater. Maximum intensity was reported in the Mishimi and Abor Hills of the Sadiya. Landslide and resulting flood due to the earthquake caused severe damages. Thousands of people died.

Great Assam Earthquake was caused by a slip on the Jiali and Po Chu Faults in southern Xizang, along the border with northeast India. The epicenter of the earthquake was Rima, a sparsely populated region in the Indo-China border. It first hit at 19:39 pm on August 15, 1950. The surface wave was felt throughout the entire north-eastern India and in many parts of eastern India.

The Assam Earthquake of 1950 drastically changed the morphology of Assam plains and it’s drainage system. Landslides blocked several tributaries of the Brahmaputra. Later breaching of those dammed rivers resulted in severe floods in different part of Assam. The earth cracked and opened up at many places. It resulted in damaging of roads and bridges. The National Highway was submerged for miles and with the Railway line got damaged. The tide in Brahmaputra carried thousands of uprooted trees, wild animals and other debris.

The 1950 Assam Earthquake is one of the largest recorded earthquakes in human history.

3 comments in “Great Assam Earthquake – 1950

  • Priya khandelwal on

    Can you please tell me
    Asssam earthquake 1950 before.. After amd during cause



  • pranab kumar lahiri on

    I was playing carrom at Sibsagar town – my birthplace – when the catastrophe struck . A student
    of class X , I was well read about earthquakes which are frequent there . It was impossible to stand erect in open even when three of us tried to hold each other . All the fruits of our Amlakhi tree were jerked down .
    Animals downed their tails and tried to run for cover . It shook the ground for maybe full five minutes – so hard that we could not stand up .
    After few minutes – ground still shaking – sometimes violently- Heavy dark smokelike dense cloud covered the entire sky . This was probably poisionous gas from subterranian reseves
    released by extensive and deep cracks in the ground and massive subsidence .
    Then came the deep sound from NE direction travelling to SW – 8 times – which encompassed the whole sky – ofunimaginable magnitude – thankfully not shrill but like hundreds of thunders from a great distance .
    My opinion is that these are the sounds of geological faults / giant landslides in the hill slopes of the Himalayas . = P K Lahiri = posted 21 March, 2016

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