In 1993 there was a sudden panic at Prashanthi Nilayam because of an earthquake that was expected in South India due to tremors. When a massive earthquake hit the Indian province of Maharastra on September 30th, 1993 the effect was devastating. The earthquake was the largest ever to hit this part of India, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. It killed over 7,500 people — nearly 15 per cent of the population in the 120 sq. km. area around the epicentre — and more than 15,000 people were injured. Seventeen villages were totally destroyed and some 145,000 homes damaged — all in less than minute. The grapevine soon spread the news - not least among Sai followers through the typical series of distortions (like in the party game Chinese whispers) - that an earthquake had hit Prashanthi Nilayam and other similar claims. No significant tremors were registered there, however. The Indian CID official, J. Ram, later reportedon what effect this had on Sathya Sai Baba and his followers in Puttaparthi in his book 'The Godmen of India', 2005:-
However, I am most reliable informed by Eileen Weed - former very close to Sai Baba's sisters and also at the time of the earthquake, that Sai Baba was in Whitefield at that time. He left Prashanthi Nilayam well before 24th of September, when he visited his sister Venkamma dying in Whitefield Sai hospital. He only returned to PN on Oct 6th. This fact does not imply, however, that the residents of Prashanthi fled their dwellings, though it seems unlike that Sai baba did the same in Whitefield, Brindavan!