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When city of highrises shook for 10 seconds

india Updated: Mar 06, 2012 01:20 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times
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Scores of people rushed out of highrises and commercial towers in panic while malls were vacated in a matter of seconds as a mild quake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale hit the city and adjoining areas on Monday.

Employees working on the 11th floor of the Global Business Park rushed their way out in an open ground in less than four minutes while it took them another 30 minutes to gather courage and get back to work.

“The building started swinging like a pendulum. The experience was terrible, we ran towards the lifts but they were closed. We then rushed towards staircase and got down,” said Raman Kumar, whose office is located at Global Business Park.

It was at 1.10pm that the quake hit the city and other nearby areas. They were 10 particularly harrowing seconds for those residing and working in highrises.

“Some of the women started crying and some were panic-struck as they were on top of a 12-storey building. It was indeed horrific, with lifts jammed and rush on staircase to reach out to an open space,” said Pullman chairman Rakesh Malhotra.

In malls too, customers were asked to vacate the premises as per earthquake guidelines.

“We requested the people not to panic and remain calm and vacate the mall. We kept telling them that it was a mild quake and there’s nothing to worry,” said JK Gupta, a senior official at Sahara Mall.

Though majority of the people in highrise residential towers did not feel the impact of the tremor and no immediate casualties were reported, an existing crack in an old building of old city got widened.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, it was the 19th quake in the country in past one year and the third one this month.

No major damage in Haryana

Chandigarh: No major damage was reported from Haryana which was jolted by an earthquake of moderate intensity, barring minor cracks in old buildings. The tremors, measuring 4.9 on the Richter Scale with Haryana’s Bahadur-

garh as epicentre, occurred at 1.11pm and were felt in most parts of the state and some adjoining areas.

Sharp tremors were felt for about ten seconds in parts of Haryana, particularly in areas falling in the NCR region which are close to Bahadurgarh including Rohtak, Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Hisar, Bhiwani, Sonepat and other places. Some places in Punjab also experienced the tremors, but impact of the earthquake was virtually negligible in Chandigarh.

Superintendent of Police of Jhajjar, Patram Singh, in whose district the town of epicentre falls, said there was no major damage reported from anywhere.