Panic grips South Bengaluru after reports of explosion

Many from Kengeri, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, BTM Layout, Banashankari, JP Nagar and even Chamarajpet reported that they heard the sound. (DH File Photo)

Panic gripped several areas in South Bengaluru after a loud sound, perceived by some to be an explosion and others to be an earthquake, drove residents out of the houses late in the afternoon on Thursday.

As several TV channels took up the matter and started talking to residents, social media was abuzz with thousands of people tweeting about the mysterious sound.

The hashtag Earthquake was trending in Bengaluru till evening, adding fuel to the confusion as the messages on social media seemed to describe an explosion, earthquake, as well as sonic boom, heard after a jet aircraft breaks the sound barrier. Many from Kengeri, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, BTM Layout, Banashankari, JP Nagar and even Chamarajpet reported that they heard the sound.

While residents who called media houses said they heard it at around 3 pm, several on social media pushed it to as far back as 2.30 pm.

‘Weird sound’

“There was a weird sound around 2 hours back near our office and the window panes shook as well. Wasn’t too scary, but weird. Now Kannada TV channels are saying it was an earthquake,” Raju P P tweeted at 4.10 pm.

Ganesh M said he was near BTM Layout when he heard “a loud explosion” but the “ground didn’t vibrate”. “It’s definitely sounded like an explosion. It can’t be an earthquake,” he said. As reporters started calling in, Karnataka State National Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) sought to reassure the public that there was no earthquake in the city. KSNDMC director Dr G S Srinivasa Reddy said none of their stations recorded any signatures due to the reported tremors.

“Had it been an earthquake, our advanced sensors at Thippagondanahalli or Mysuru stations should have recorded the signatures. Usually, they do not record anything less than 1 on the Richter Scale. These could be due to the crustal readjustment in the subsurface of the earth’s crust. Such situations have been witnessed in some parts of the state previously,” he opined.

Controlled blasts

Dr Reddy, however, said it could possibly be due to external factors like controlled blasts where a huge quantity of explosives were used.

“Usually, at construction sites, silent blasts are carried out. But if you use a huge quantity of explosives, it will trigger mild a tremor in the adjoining areas,” he added.

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Panic grips South Bengaluru after reports of explosion

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