30 CIFNET students stranded off the Vizag coast; Coast Guard vessel traces them

The aftershocks of the earthquake which hit Sumatra in Indonesia were felt in Visakhapatnam where residents of apartment complexes, school buildings and multi-storeyed office complexes ran out for safety.

“I was surprised to see residents of flats on the third and fourth floors of our apartment complex rushing out of the building. They said that they had seen objects in the rooms shaking and ran out apprehending an earthquake. We are living on the first floor and we haven't noticed any such thing,” said A.V. Prasad, a resident of CBM Compound.

“A container fell from the dining table and when I put it back it fell a second time and even as I was wondering what was wrong, I received a call and went out for safety after informing occupants of other flats,” said B. Madhavi, a housewife living on the fourth floor of Vishnu Priya Apartments.

“The computer systems in our laboratory located on the first floor shook vigorously and our friends ran out for safety,” said G. Jagdeesh, a student of Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering at Madhurawada.

People of various areas in the city made a beeline to the beach to watch the high tide as TV channels flashed the news. The city police initially prevented the public from going near the water but later asked them to vacate the beach.

Meanwhile, a vessel belonging to Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training (CIFNET), carrying 30 students of the institute, lost its way at sea around 30 nautical miles off Visakhapatnam coast around 4.30 p.m.

“Our vessel C 141 traced the lost CIFNET vessel. The students were taken out for sea training.

The fishing net got entangled in the propeller bringing the engine to a stop. We have asked CIFNET to arrange another vessel to tow their ship and have made arrangements to bring the stranded students ashore,” said Coast Guard Deputy Inspector-General M.A. Thalha.

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