Normal life was thrown out of gear, with mobile phones getting jammed and people rushing out of buildings and hi-rises. The tremors made buildings shake in its impact, with Government offices in Thalamuthu Natarajan building in Egmore and Chepauk being evacuated.
The DGP in Chennai had asked people to remain calm and stay away from coastal regions. The police also instructed 150 foreigners sunbathing on the Mahabalipuram shores to leave the spot and move indoors.
Chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi has been quoted as saying to newspapers that all government mechanism was in place in the wake of any eventuality. He had stated, “Tsunami will hit us only after hitting Andaman and Nicobar. I’m in touch with officials in Andaman and they have ruled out any possibility of a tsunami.”
In spite of the warning from police and with the fear of tsunami lingering, some Chennaiites gathered at the Marina Beach to see the tsunami ‘live’. But the beach in Besant Nagar, the Elliots beach was deserted.
Apart from the disruptions in cell phone services, train services were also hit with the Southern Railway suspending MRTS services between Beach and Velachery for nearly two hours from 3:45 pm. According to Divisional railway manager S Anantharaman, instructions were given to halt the MRTS trains at both the terminal points at Velachery and Beach after the tremors were confirmed. The same was restored only after 5:30 pm after any chances of eventualities were ruled out.
The train service block left many stranded, with many having to rely on bus services. People heading to Mylapore, Indira Nagar, Adyar, Tiruvanmiyur and Velachery were the most affected.