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'Tremors' cause panic, Met says no cause for worry

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 22 (UNI) Tension gripped three districts of Tamil Nadu after residents felt ''tremor-like'' activity over a span of three days.

However, the Seismological Department of the Meteorological Centre here said it did not record any ''seismic activity''.

Two days after some villagers in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts felt a mild tremor, those in Karur district woke up to a ''shaky morning'' yesterday only to be comforted by the Seismological Department which said there was nothing to worry about.

Villagers in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts rushed out of their houses on hearing a loud noise on the night of March 19.

They panicked on seeing cracks on the walls and floor.

Similarly, fear gripped people of two villages of Karur in the early hours of yesterday when they found vessels rolling down the floor. The walls also suffered minor cracks prompting the district administration to alert both the state government and the Meteorological Department.

However, sources in the Seismology Department said there was no significant seismic activity in the areas, though there was feeble recording in Kanniyakumari.

The sources said it could have happened due to local geological phenomenon. The department, however, had sought data from observatory centres in Salem, Thiruvananthapuram and other places and piecing together the information to find out what exactly happened.

Describing the event as a ''swarm earthquake'', Dr N Venkatanathan, Scientist, Earthquake Prediction, University of Madras, told UNI the tremor-like activity in Kanniyakumari and Karur showed formation of a ''new fault'' in the areas.

''If the fault becomes active over a period of time, there is a possibility of the region witnessing an earthquake. Continuous monitoring is now required,'' he said.

There was also a possibility of the ''fault'' becoming passive thereby discouting any possibility of an earthquake occurring in the future.

UNI WS GM SHB RS1805

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