Earthquake rumour triggers panic in Andhra Pradesh

August 22nd, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 22 (IANS) Rumours of an earthquake sparked off by messages and phone calls sent people scurrying out of their homes in various Andhra Pradesh districts early Friday. Many residents of several areas in this state capital and areas like Medak, Ranga Reddy, Nizamabad, Chitoor and Visakhapatnam woke up and ran out of their homes as word spread about an impending earthquake. They sat on the roads and in open grounds and returned home only after sunrise.

Some people said they received telephone calls and messages from their friends, warning about an earthquake in Gulbarga in Karnataka and several parts of Andhra Pradesh.

The rumour spread like the proverbial wildfire between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. “Our neighbours alerted me and I ran out of the house along with my children,” said Fatima Bi, a resident of Rajendernagar on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Authorities said they did not know where the rumour had started from.

Scientists at National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) here dismissed the talk and said nobody could predict earthquakes.

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