‘Thundering’ sound creates flutter in Bengaluru

A loud ‘thundering’ sound in several parts of Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon triggered panic among the residents, while officials ruled out the possibility of it being an earthquake.
The sound was heard across the city from Kempegowda International Airport off Devanahalli in the north to Kengeri and Electronic City in the South.
Many people feared it could be a mild tremor as doors and windows shook after the noise.
However, the Commissioner of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Manoj Rajan ruled out the possibility of any earthquake and said it needed to be investigated.
“We have 12 seismic monitoring centres in Karnataka but none have reported any seismic activity,” Rajan told PTI.
Founder director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre V S Prakash suspected that the sound could be due to the usage of explosives for mining activities.
“Based on my experience as the KSNDMC director for 16 years, I can say that it was due to the resumption of mining of granite in and around Bengaluru,” Prakash opined in a video message.
The other two possible reasons, according to him, were the usage of explosion caused due to some petroleum product and land subsidence because of excessive usage of underground water.
The Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said there was no damage reported anywhere.
He said he too came to know from media about the sound heard from the Airport to Hebbagodi here.
However, there were no calls to the police control room regarding any damage.
“We have also asked the Air Force Control Room to check if it was a jet or supersonic sound.
Bengaluru police are awaiting confirmation from the Air Force,” Rao said in a statement.
The Indian Air Force later clarified that no training command aircraft was flying in the area.
“However, ASTE and HAL could have been undertaking their routine test flying, which necessitates going supersonic at times.
These are done well beyond the city limits in specified sectors,” the IAF said.
It stated further that considering the atmospheric conditions and reduced noise levels in the city during these times, the aircraft sound may become clearly audible even if it happened way out from the city.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre also clarified that the activity reported in the state capital was not due to an earthquake.
In a tweet, it said the seismometers did not capture any ground vibration as generally happens during a mild tremor.
The activity is purely a loud unknown noise, it added.