Gangtok, Feb 25: Panic prevailed here last nignt as people spent the night on the streets after rumours of a possible earthquake.
Yesterday's earthquake in North East and neighbouring Siliguri and the one that rocked this capital town on February 14 caused more fear among the people.
The rumour of the possible earthquake began circulating at around 2130 hours with people making phone calls to their friends and relatives warning them of an earthquake.
The residents passed the night outside their houses even as temperatures plumented to 7 to 8 degrees Celsius.
''We came outside after one of my friends telephoned at around 2200 hours warning me about a possible earthquake,'' said a resident of an area near AIR, Gangtok.
Vishal, a resident of MG Marg, said he, along with his family, moved out of the house after he saw people gathering on the road.
People were also seen in large numbers in Development area, Tibet Road and Deorali till early this morning.
DIG Range Akshay Sachdeva confirmed the rumour, adding that he had no reports of it spreading beyond Gangtok. He said people were spotted spending in the open air in the night.
Mr Sachedeva appealed to the people not to pay attention in the rumours.
Local Met office sources described the incident as unfortunate.
They pointed out that so far no mechanism had been developed to predict earthquake and appealed to people not to believe the rumours.