Chennai: Southern Indian states felt a jolt
today with tremors rocking several parts, prompting panicked
people to flock to open spaces as grim memories of the 2004
killer tsunami returned to haunt many.
Tremors were felt in Chennai, Bangalore,
Thiruvananthapuram and several other cities following the 8.9
magnitude earthquake in Indonesia, that set of fears of
However, there were no reports of damage to property or
loss of lives.
The Kerala government issued an alert across the state,
particularly for the coastal belt, as its most parts
experienced mild tremor in the wake of massive Sumatra
earthquake triggering fears of tsunami.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, said there was no
need for panic though the alert was issued just for people and
asked authorities to maintain vigil.
Bangalore and its neighbourhood were rocked by tremors,
MET Department officials said.
Tremors were also felt in Hubli-Dharwad region, they
said, adding, no damage has been reported from anywhere so
Bangalore Metro Rail services were suspended around 2.40
pm and passengers were asked to vacate stations. People rushed
to safety from high-rise buildings and offices after the
Operations at the Chennai Port had also been suspended in
the wake of the tsunami warning. Six National Disaster
Response Force teams had been moved to Chennai.
Operations at the Madras Atomic Power Station at
Kalpakkam and work at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant were on
without hindrance though they were on alert following the
quake, officials said.
But in Chennai, initial panic gave way to curiosity with
eager residents flocking to the famed Marina beach to see a
The fear of a tsunami in the wake of the strong quake
kept the officials busy with police personnel dissuading the
curious onlookers to stay away from the sands.
"We want to see tsunami live," said an elderly woman, who
was among the large number of people assembled at the beach,
noting the earlier warning that the tsunami was to hit Chennai
around 1700 hours.
The quake brought with it its share of chaos and
confusion as vehicular traffic movement in Chennai, already
suffering due to ongoing Metro Rail work, took a hit.
With offices closing early and schools declaring holiday,
people rushed home in hordes, resulting in crowded scenes at
the railway stations and bus depots.
Micro-blogging sites and online community portals were
flooded with messages of traffic chaos. Cellphone services
were affected for a while before slowly resuming normalcy.
On December 26, 2004, a tsunami had struck the Tamil Nadu
Coast line, resulting in massive damage whose rehabilitation
is happening even today.
People in various parts of Kerala including state capital
and Kochi experienced mild tremors in the wake of Indonesian
In Kochi, panic prevailed for a while as people came out
of offices and highrise buildings. However, no damage to
buildings or other properties reported from anywhere in the