Loud explosion, cracks on walls create panic in Chengannur
Chengannur: A sound resembling loud explosion created panic among the residents of Thiruvanvandoor and nearby areas in Alappuzha district at 12 pm on Friday. Cracks also appeared on the walls of around 50 houses. Soon rumour was spread that it was an earthquake, sending people outside the buildings and looking for safe places.
The loud explosion-like sound was heard in ward 4, 5 and 12 of the Thiruvanvandoor panchayat and the tremors were felt for 1.5 km. Soon, people ran out of their houses.
Police and fire personnel rushed to the spot. Ambulance and other medical facilities were arranged. RDO G Ushakumari and revenue team also reached the spot.
According to residents, most of the household items and furniture trembled.
Knowing about the incident, Saji Cheriyan MLA, Kodikunnil Suresh MP and other public representatives also arrived at the spot. Ernakulam range IG Kaliraj Mahesh Kumar and senior police officials also visited the place. After the news spread on social media, large number of people rushed here.
Revenue officials said that panchayat overseer has been instructed to estimate the loss and a letter will be forwarded to engineer to inspect the cracks on buildings.
No chance of earthquake
Meanwhile, experts said that prima facie it was not an earthquake. Mining and Geology department Assistant Geologist Dr A Badarudheen and Hydrogeologist R L Anroop visited the area and said there are no indications to confirm an earthquake.
If it was an earthquake, the foundations of the buildings also would have cracked. Wells in the area would have caved in, bubbles would appear in water resources and trees and soil would be shaken. But nothing occurred and only small walls of the buildings showed crack marks. Also, the earthquake won’t be limited to such a small area, they opined.
A report in this regard will be submitted to the Collector, they added.
What could it have been?
According to experts there are two options:
The earth is made up of different layers. When heavy rains or floods occur the base layers will be filled with water and this might be released through some weak point with loud sound. Slight tremors can also be felt in this process. Similar incidents have been reported in the state earlier.
Or it could be an explosion caused by a strong explosive. Loud sound and tremors can arise from it. Also, cracks would appear.