Quake rumour sends thousands into Ghazni streets
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Thousands of people in southern Ghazni province spent the Sunday night under open sky because of a rumour that a major earthquake would hit the region until 5am in the morning.
Residents of Ghazni city, the provincial capital, started moving out of their houses in the middle of the night after announcements about the impending disaster were made over loudspeakers in mosques by unknown people in various areas.
The wild rumours sent thousands of panic stricken Ghazni residents in several areas into the streets and open areas where many spent the night.
A resident of Ghazni city, Mirwais, who spent the night on a road along with his family members, told Pajhwok Afghan News it was around 12am when an announcement over a mosque loudspeaker woke him up. “Oh, faithful a severe earthquake is about to hit the area. Leave your houses and move to open places", he quoted the announcers as saying.
Mirwais said when they moved outside, he saw a large number of people, including women and children, were already on the road, discussing the likely earthquake.
The resident said people sacred of the possible disaster were reluctant to return to their houses because the announcements from mosques continued. He had no idea who were making the announcement.
“Later, imams of mosques also started announcing about the earthquake. They asked people to leave their houses as quickly as possible because the earthquake is certain,” Mirwais said.
Residents of other adjacent areas also started assembling in streets, roads and open areas after the announcements.
A resident of the Deh Yek district’s Tasin village, Abdul Hadi, said he received a call from a friend in the middle of the night, telling him to vacate his house along with family because a possible quake was about to strike.
After receiving the call, he informed other residents of the village. The residents assembled in an open place and started worshipping to avert the quake, he said.
Terrified people were reluctant to return to their homes until morning despite an announcement on a local radio that the rumour was misleading and unfounded.
Police chief Brig. Gen. Zarawar Zahid said he had no information who were behind the romours. Police remained alert the whole night to prevent any possible robbery, he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.