Tsunami rumors paralyze markets in Padang
December 22, 2007, 11:41 am
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Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA News) – Activities at a number of traditional markets in Padang were paralyzed on Friday following widespread rumors that a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami will devastate the capital of West Sumatra province on Dec 23.

Only a few traders opened their kiosks and shops.

“Many traders have shut down their shops and most of them have taken refuge outside the city,” chili seller Darni said.

Activities at the Pasar Raya (Grand Market) here had stagnated during the past week following the rumors, she said.

“Since the rumors spread the market has been deserted and local residents prefer to buy basic necessaries at kiosks near their homes,” she said.

Housewife Kartina Dahari said she went to the market after she had run out of food stuffs.

“I want to buy a lot of food stuffs to be stored in the refigerator,” she said.

“I have not evacuated but keep alert and submit to Allah,” she said.

Earlier, West Sumatra Governor Gamawan Fauzi called on local residents to carry out their activities as usual and to ignore the rumors.

“So far, there is no technology that can predict the time of an earthquake. Everything happens at Allah`s will. So, let us increase our religious service and continue to pray,” he said.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 rattled West Sumatra and neigboring provinces on Sept 12, killing tens of people and injuring dozens of others. (*)


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