Monday, 9 January 2012

Earthquake turns sleepers to stone

Rumours force people to flee homes

KANPUR: Rumours on Monday night that a major earthquake may occur and those sleeping would be transformed into stones, besides several villages in bordering district of Unnao caving in, forced the people to run out on the streets.

Panic prevailed all over the city with people receiving phone calls that earthquake will occur. The near and dear ones advising each other to avoid sleep as it would transformed them into stone, besides people should be alert as several villages in Unnao had caved in.

People came out of on streets at around 2am and spent several hours in the open.

Ratnesh, a local of Khapra Mohal, said: "I received a call from a friend who stays in Lucknow on Monday night. He said that a strong earthquake would soon cause destruction, so get up and pray to God."

"I received frantic calls from my friends saying that an earthquake will strike. They warned me not to sleep otherwise I would be transformed into a stone," said Saif, a resident of Jajmau. It seems as it was all a game plan of telecom companies as mostly people remained glued to cell phone, he added.

Despite cold, many residents sat on the roads and in open grounds and returned home only in the morning.

"Rumours spread like wildfire between 2 and 3am and without bothering about chilly weather, the people came rushing out of homes in open areas," said Vishwas, a resident of P Road.

"My cousin alerted me and I ran out of my house with my wife and children," said Farhan, a resident of Chamanganj. It only revived us memories of a strong earthquake in Gujarat on January 26, that killed thousands of people and left lakhs homeless and the recent earthquake which had hit Japan, he added.

DIG Rajesh Rai clarified that they have not received any information about any such incidents, it was rumours spread by miscreants. He warned of stringent action against those found spreading such rumours.

"I have already advised my subordinates to intensify patrolling in the localities during late at night and identify mischief mongers involved in spreading such rumours," he added.