Panic gripped residents as a strong earthquake shook the city on Monday afternoon. Movie shows were stopped, malls evacuated and people ran out of the offices and homes.
At Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector32 and Government Multi Special Hospital, Sector 16, there was panic in the operating theatres as well as wards.
A surgeon had just started a surgery at Nehru Hospital of PGIMER when the tremors were felt, but he went ahead with the job even as there were suggestions from colleagues to move out.
The operation theatres are on the fourth floor of the hospital, so the tremors were felt more in OTs.
The doctors and patient attendants were also seen running out of the hospitals.
PANIC GRIPS PANJAB UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
Cracks appeared on the wall of the office of Dean International Students (DIS) and some other buildings at Panjab University (PU). Panic gripped students and employees who left the building within minutes and gathered in open areas.
“I was sitting in my office, when the chair started shaking and fans swinging. The moment I realised that it is an earthquake, cracks appeared on the wall. I got really scared and rushed outside. I was afraid as I never before felt an earthquake so intense,” said an employee of DIS, who wished not be named.
“Cracks which appeared earlier because of earthquake have widened and new cracks have appeared,” said Ramandeep Johal, DIS.
The employees were heard complaining about how unsafe the office is, as its all four walls have cracks. When this reporter took a round of other offices situated on the ground floor, she found cracks in every office.
An official said, “These offices are not part of the original building plan and were constructed later. That is why these offices are not safe.”
“Everything was shaking and I could not even run properly. Luckily, it was only for a few minutes,” said a student, who was playing table-tennis on the first floor of the building at PU.
ELANTE MALL EVACUATED
Elante mall was evacuated and hundreds of people were made to wait outside the mall for nearly 30 minutes. Though the step was taken to assure safety to customers, but some of them felt hassled.
“I had come here for shopping. I felt harassed as, in the name of safety, we were asked to wait outside the mall for about half an hour,” said Jaswinder Singh from
SAS Nagar. He added that Hundreds of people gathered had outside the mall and all gates were closed, leading to traffic chaos.
NORTH COUNTRY MALL EVACUATED TOO
SAS Nagar: The North Country Mall in Kharar was evacuated as tremors rocked the tricity. Panicked shoppers, movie-goers and mall staff were asked to move out and no one was allowed to enter for about 15 minutes fearing aftershocks. People rushed out of movie halls.
The ongoing preparations for the upcoming Progressive Punjab summit at Indian School of Business (ISB) came to a halt briefly as officials and workers rushed out to reach the open areas.
Streets in residential areas were flooded with people as residents left their houses as they felt earthquake.
“First I thought someone is shaking the bed and it took me a few second to realise it was earthquake. I immediately rushed out of the house.
My head kept spinning for long after the tremors,” said Amit Kumar, a resident of Phase 4.