The News Minute | August 21, 2014 | 4.05 pm ISTSomeone’s idea of a prank has caused people in north Telangana to sleep on the streets on Wednesday night, after messages circulated on social media about an impending and destructive earthquake.How the rumours spread is unclear, but dozens of people, entire families were out on the streets in five districts: Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal and Medak. The rumours spread through messages sent by mobile phones and where connectivity was not good, villagers went around informing people.People in Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts spent the night outdoors fearing the worst. Many called up relatives and friends to find out more about the imminent earthquake. In Nizamabad district, including in parts of Nizamabad town, villages bordering Maharashtra, Bichkunda, Pitlam, Bodhan, Armoor and Banswada mandals, the rumour spread like wildfire and at a few places, where mobile signals weren’t strong, villagers went around alerting the people. The situation was much the same in Karimnagar district. According to one story, the rumours began with a call from Nanded district to some people in Jukkal village in Nizamabad district. They, in turn, alerted their friends in Bhainsa and from there, it soon spread to Basara, Mudhole, Nirmal, Kaddam, Khanapur and Jannaram.The police and district officials, who came to know of the panic, contacted the Met department in Hyderabad which clarified that there was no threat of an earthquake. It took a lot of effort on the part of officials to reassure the people that no earthquake was going to occur. Watch the TV9 report here.