Rumours rule roost, city panicked

The tremors exposed the vulnerability of Bangaloreans and indicated their poor response to natural disasters

Published: 12th April 2012 02:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:28 PM   |  A+A-

1-RUNN

Employees coming out the UB City building following tremors in Bangalore on Wednesday; (right) women calling their dear ones on mobile phones

BANGALORE:  Rumours spread like wildfire after tremors due to the double quake in Indonesia and Bangalore  panicked in just 21 minutes on Wednesday.

First, the virtual world was affected by the news and it effect spread across the city. Following rumours, people were evacuated from other buildings, which did not feel the tremors, as a precautionary measure.  

Employees of many corporate groups, government offices and other organisations left their workplaces, fearing the worst. The incident, thankfully not catastrophic, exposed the vulnerability of the city dwellers and also their poor  reactions to natural disasters. Though many corporate offices carried out fire drills, employees were seen rushed onto roads, adding to the panic while news channels went overboard.

In the case of government buildings, employees rushed out of buildings, but forgot about the assembly point and instead took the chance to get homes early.

In Electronics City, the news spread in the noon when they received calls from nearby offices where tremors were felt.  “We were told to leave the building and wait outside immediately. Some officials had the presence of mind to call the local police station and the Weather Department to find out what’s going on,” said Jagadish, an employee of a leading IT company.

When queried if they did feel the tremors, some said that they felt the tables move, while people on the lower floors rushed to the exits after saw their colleagues rush out.

Employees at Manyata Technology Park said many office buildings were evacuated.  “The alarms were sounded and the people began rushing towards the fire exits,” they said. However, the employees from the first five to seven floors, confirmed that they did not feel any tremors, but others working on higher floors claimed to have felt most of the impact. In the melee, over 30 companies shut shop and decided to let off their employees, citing security measures as the main reason.

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