Photo: Patrick Seeger/ picture alliance/dpa
A false report spread on the Internet about an impending earthquake in North Rhine-Westphalia startled many people on Wednesday night.
The police stations in Cologne and Hagen, among others, had received a particularly large number of concerned calls, said a spokesman for the state police control center in Duisburg.
In Cologne, people ran onto the street at the »Kölnberg«.
In the high-rise settlement in the south-west of the city, the officials found mainly people of Romanian descent, local media reported.
They reported that closed Facebook groups had been warned of an earthquake.
The police and fire brigade calmed the residents down so that they returned to their apartments.
According to their own statements, the police in Gelsenkirchen also received many calls.
According to WDR, the police in Duisburg have counted around a thousand calls since 11 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
As a result, patrol cars drove through the north of Duisburg and gave the all-clear via loudspeaker announcements.
Where the rumor came from is still being determined, said the spokesman for the state control center.
"This is of course an absolutely shameful false report." Against the background of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, people's fears are being played with.