Tremors reported in parts of Chennai, but officials record no seismic activity

Residents of two central neighbourhoods in Chennai reported that they felt mild tremors on Wednesday. However, both the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the National Centre for Seismology said their systems picked up no seismic activity.

Just after noontime, reports of mild tremors emerged from Royapettah and Anna Salai (earlier called Mount Road) localities. “Tremors in Chennai, or was it just me?” tweeted educator R Abhishek. Another Twitter user, Sanjana, said that her parents experienced mild tremors too.

IMD officials — the department runs two seismological observatories in Meenambakkam (Chennai) and Kodaikanal — said they picked up no observable seismic activity in these parts. “It must have been due to construction or infrastructural work in the vicinity,” said a source.

While Anna Salai and Royapettah have existing operational Metro Rail lines, the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) ruled out its work as the cause for these apparent tremors.

“In connection with the tremors felt in Chennai, Anna Salai, it has been confirmed that the tremors are not caused by the Chennai Metro Rail Project works so such activity is currently taking place in the area,” read a CMRL statement.

However, despite the lack of observable indication of there being tremors in the city, reports continued to pour in from smaller neighborhoods in the vicinity like White’s Road, Patullos Road, and Royapettah High Road.

Chennai has seen a spate of infrastructural activity in the last few months with the city corporation giving its stormwater drains a facelift. The CMRL is presently overseeing digging and tunneling for Phase-2 of the metro rail project in areas like Alwarpet, Villivakkam, and Rajiv Gandhi Expressway.

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