Even as panic gripped Chennai residents following the massive earthquake in Indonesia on Wednesday, the police had a tough time dissuading people -- hoping to see the tsunami -- from gathering at the famous Marina beach.
"We want to see a live tsunami," said an elderly woman who was among a large number of people assembled at the beach, noting the earlier warning that the tsunami was to hit Chennai around 5 pm.
"There is no specific threat. It was a watch and alert. There is no likelihood of any tsunami in the Indian Ocean region," said National Disaster Management Authority Vice President Sashidhar Reddy.
On a sleepy Sunday morning in 2004, giant tidal waves had consumed many morning walkers and youngsters playing on the sands.
Strong fibre boats and cars had been tossed up, with the fury of the waves landing them on the busy Kamarajar Salai stretch.
Though policemen on vans were trying to dissuade the people from going to the sea, many people gathered to see the tsunami, driven by their curiosity.
Many of the government offices, educational institutions and private companies were closed as the city experienced a second aftershock at around 4.45 pm.
Traffic on the roads remained chocked, as the flow of vehicles witnessed an immediate spurt after the news of tremors spread.
Several cell phone services were disrupted following the tremor.