Economy

A tremor down Chennai's spine

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on April 11, 2012

Sending a chill down the city's spine, tremors rattled Chennai around 2.30 p.m. today causing commercial establishments to pull their shutters down.

Minutes later, scores of people rushed out of their buildings and stood on the roads and streets. This intensified the traffic snarls in the city, where traffic flow has been strained in the last few weeks due to the ongoing metro rail project work.

“We did not realise it until I got a call from my colleague who had stepped out for tea. In a few seconds, the entire office complex was emptied,” said Mr R. Srinivasan, an employee of a power electronics company in T. Nagar.

Traffic jams were reported on many main roads and major junctions. Jeep loads of the Rapid Action Force were spotted engaged in an evacuation drill. Chennai Port Trust suspended operations for a brief while on tsunami warning. For at least an hour after the tremors, telecom networks were choked as practically everybody was trying to reach somebody.

Software companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Cognizant Technology got their staff out of buildings.

In residential areas too people rushed out of their houses. In many apartment complexes residents stayed outdoors for some time.

Schools in the city and its suburbs were closed. Priya Ragavan, a Class XII student of Kendriya Vidhyalaya in Anna Nagar said all the students were asked to leave the school complex and go home immediately. “We were not even given time to collect our bags from the class room,” she said.

Mr S.K. Jain, Chairman of Nuclear Power Corporation of India, told newswires that the power plant in Kalpakkam (near Chennai) was operating normally.

Tremors were also felt in other cities including Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kolkata. In Bangalore, IT offices across the city advised their employees to vacate office buildings. In Kolkata, tremors were felt around 2.15 p.m. Along with the city the adjoining districts too experienced tremors.

>rravikumar@thehindu.co.in

(with inputs from our bureaus in Bangalore and Kolkata)

Published on April 11, 2012
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