Tremors rock southern states
PTI CHENNAI SOUTHERN Indian states felt a jolt on Wednesday with heavy 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 Tsunami. 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, the said, adding, no damage has been reported from anywhere so far. 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 tremors.
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.
Fear gripped Tamil Nadu also as the quake brought back memories of the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 7,000 people along Tamil Nadu’s coast. Port officials hurriedly evacuating ships from the harbour, and officials kept a strict vigil at nuclear power plants.
Police ordered people to vacate the Marina beach in Chennai. “We have asked 16 ships to vacate the port and go into the sea. We have stopped all cargo handling,” Chennai Port Trust chairman Atulya Misra said soon after the tsunami warning.
The Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services said it expected waves measuring around 50 cm in Chennai and 40 cm waves near the Andaman islands.Strong tremors were felt in several places in Tamil Nadu following the massive earthquake in Indonesia, with thousands rushing out of their homes and high-rise buildings.
Meanwhile, operations at Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Kalpakkam near Chennai continued to function normally, even as coastal areas in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh has been put on alert following a massive quake hitting Indonesia.
“We were to halt operations following the Tsunami alert.
But, after checking with authorities in Andamans, we continued with the operations at the plant,” K
Ramamurthy, Station Director, MAPS told PTI.
However, the plant is on high alert, he said.
Two units with a capacity of 220 MW each are producing electricity at MAPS, adjoining Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) in the nuclear complex some 80 km from Chennai.