Hoax earthquake SMS creates panic in northeast

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 27, 2010 19:23 hrs

Shillong: An SMS circulated in the northeast triggered panic on Tuesday as it warned that a major earthquake would hit the region, officials said.

"Important msg - the seismological dept for the Northeast, Shillong have announced that a major earthquake measuring 6.7 richter scale may hit d northeast at around 12.57 a.m. tonight," the SMS read.

The text message also advised the people to stay outdoors during the time.

"It has created a panic in the entire region. We have received many calls, but the centre did not make such an announcement," Andrew C Lyngdoh, in-charge of the Central Seismological Observatory at Upper Shillong, said.

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He noted that the observatory does not predict earthquakes nor is there any technique to forecast them.

Asked if they would file a police case, Lyngdoh said that the office was yet to take a decision on the matter.

The northeastern region is considered by seismologists to be the sixth most earthquake-prone belt in the world.