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Panic strikes as earthquake rattles Saudi, Qatar, UAE


Panic strikes as earthquake rattles Saudi, Qatar, UAE


Saudi Arabia

P A Hameed Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Riyadh

Updated

Riyadh, Apr 10: A mild temblor that occurred at around 3.15 pm (Saudi time) on Tuesday April 9 shook the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, causing a lot of panic and apprehensions amongst the people. Many felt the light tremors, especially in their office buildings. Various companies in Dammam and Al-Khobar, the twin cities of the eastern region, ordered the red alert so that their employees could vacate their workplaces at once. While a majority of the people working in companies left for their homes, some were seen standing on the side roads and nearby places.

Ibrahim Moideen from Uchila-Udupi, a senior resident in Khobar told Daijiworld, "I was there in my company in Khobar with other colleagues at around 2.50 pm and we were altogether alerted to evacuate the building in an emergency due to the quake. We rushed out of our office building, which is situated a mile away from the corniche of the Arabian Sea and left for home."

Some friends in Dammam and Khobar described the startled situation in Dammam and Khobar and said, "A large number of expatriates and citizens gathered near the Sheiko Building in Dammam, which is the downtown and commercial hub of the city; they seemed to be in a sense of extreme fright due to the minor trembles that took place in some of the buildings near Sheiko; some people felt the light shakes in this area as if someone from behind had rattled it for pranks, but, by God’s grace, there was no casualty.”

The scenario in Khobar was a little different than in Dammam. Several places in this city experienced trembles that put many on edge. Some of the high-towering buildings like Juffali tower, which is situated near the famous “Silver Tower” and others were affected by the strike of the earthquake. Although no major casualties have been reported, the windows and ceilings of a few buildings including Juffali tower were slightly damaged and walls cracked. All the residents were evacuated immediately upon the occurrence of the seismic shudder. The people rushed out of the buildings and got together in nearby lawns and lanes looking at the skyscrapers and towers.

The earthquake has also struck some parts of Jubail, an industrial city of the Kingdom. The  residents felt the slight tremors in their residential and commercial buildings in Jubail and surrounding regions. There have been reports of evacuations from the buildings. In total, people at large were panic-stricken due to the quake that measured a minor magnitude in the eastern territory. The Saudi Seismologists said that it was an aftershock of the earthquake that hit southern Iran measuring 6.3 magnitude.

Two great researchers of the King Saud University, Dr Abdullah Al-Amry and Dr Mohammed Al-Fnais, who are seismic study experts, are of the opinion that the eastern regions of Saudi Arabia are considered to be seismically quiet. However, it is flanked by one of the most vigorous seismic belts, and if earthquake occurs, it could affect high-rise buildings and other infrastructure. That is why, Al-Khobar, metaphorically known as ”the Bride of the Arabian Sea”, is a planned city consisting of high towers and skyscrapers, designed in a method that resist earthquakes to the maximum extent.

 

Doha

(Dohanews)

Residents from across Qatar felt the aftershocks of an earthquake that occurred in southern Iran. Nearly two hours after the earthquake, many people are being allowed back in their residences and workplaces, with some exceptions. Others have been sent home from work for the day.

Thousands of people were evacuated from office and residential towers across Doha after tremors left many residents feeling a shaking sensation - in some instances for up to 30 to 40 seconds.

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake was registered in southern Iran just before 3pm Doha local time. Shortly thereafter, reports of shaking and earthquake-like effects began pouring in from Doha and elsewhere in Qatar.

Residents reported feeling the tremors across the city, primarily in areas near the coast, including at the Crowne Plaza Hotel towards the south-east, Hamad Hospital in the center of town, and Dafna and West Bay to the north.

Although not all in Doha felt the tremor - there were no reports of shaking in Al Waab - some as far away as Mesaieed and Ras Laffan said they felt it as well.

At the Pearl-Qatar, some towers were evacuated - especially those still under construction - while police took control of the situation there.

Within an hour, the Ministry of Interior said there were no known damages or injuries: "Some residents in Qatar felt tremors following an earthquake in Bushehr city of Iran. There is no damages or casualties in Qatar."

A four-car pileup did occur around the same time at Ahmed bin Ali Street, although it isn’t yet clear if the tremors had anything to do with it.

Many offices resumed normal operations within the hour, although employees at Qatar Science and Technology Park said they were sent home while a suspected gas leak was investigated.

There have been no recent earthquakes in Qatar, although mild tremors were reported in 2010 and 2011.

 

UAE

Dubai, Apr 9 (Emirates24|7): An earthquake shook the UAE and many countries in the Middle East, Asia and the US on Tuesday afternoon.

Residents of the UAE felt the ground shake under their feet around 4pm today as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Southern Iran.

An aftershock measuring 5.4 was reported 13 minutes after the first earthquake.

The UAE’s National Center Of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) spoke to Emirates 24|7 confirming the same, saying: “An earthquake has struck South of Iran measuring 6.2. The tremors were felt in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah because of its epicentre.”

News wire agency, Reuters, reported the epicentre near Bushehr in Iran.

Meanwhile, Twitter frenzy erupted within minutes of the tremors, with many reportedly running out of buildings.

Residents across Dubai confirmed buildings were being evacuated, including the Siemens office building in Jebel Ali, Emaar Square, Tiffany Tower (JLT) and Damac Towers.

Adam Kechil tweeted: “Emaar Square evacuated due to Earthquake.”

Meanwhile, towers in Qatar and Bahrain have also been evacuated as part of emergency procedures.

Shiraz Gidwani tweeted: “No tremors felt at the Burj Khalifa. Prayers with those affected in Iran.”

Salman Mohammad wrote to us saying: “I felt mild tremors in my flat in Al Qasmiya Sharjah the lamps were swinging mildly; it lasted for two minutes. It was scary as well since I live on a higher floor.”

Laura Bailey wrote: “Civil Defence confirms Sheikh Zayed Road building safe.”

Mozhgan Kazemi said: “Felt it for more than 10 seconds.”

Dubomedy tweeted: “Earthquake in Dubai Did you feel it?”

ExpatWoman.com also tweeted: “Has there just been an earth tremor? Did anyone feel it?”

"While I was talking with a client on the phone, I felt a light shift from left to right. I did not think much of it, and continued my work.

"But then all of my colleagues suddenly started talking about low blood pressure and dizzyness. While all of them are completely healthy! It was then that we realised there was an earthquake, and we decided to leave the building," said Kinana Homsi-Mardini, 27, who works in Tecom.

Kinana and her colleagues were not the only people with that idea. A little after 4 PM the streets were filled with eployees, who did not want to take the risk of staying inside.

Most people did not feel a thing, but were told by others about the light shake if earth. It was only a matter of seconds, would others report.

Shaher Bano, 27, was one of the few who felt the quake in her office. "There was just a light shake. It was over before I realised it. Because it was only shortly, it did not terrify me. But we did evacuate," she said.

Rachel Morris from Qatar tweeted: “Driving home and buildings evacuated everywhere.”

Thomas Jose Purackal said: “Tremors in Qatar because of 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran.”

From Bahrain, Namit Bhatia spoke to us, saying: “My office was evacuated and the Al Seef area in Manama was reportedly quite severe. It wasn’t vibration, but actual swinging.”

 

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Comment on this article

  • Ravi Shetty, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 11 2013

    There will be another such incident of tremors. So be careful and watchful.Take utmost care.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Kiran VSA, Udupi

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    The quick developments without scant regard for Nature and environment are soon to cause widespread disasters across the globe. Desert states have been exploiting the natural resources without thinking about the future. Soon it will be back to dates and dry fish with salt water

    DisAgree [8] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    Somebody from India called and inquired about the quake in Riyadh otherwise it is quite as usual calm in Riyadh.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • AUGUSTINE DANIEL D'SOUZA, UDUPI/MUMBAI/STATE OF KUWAIT

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    STATE OF KUWAIT, ALL IS WELL BY THE BLESSING OF LORD JESUS CHRIST. AMEN

    DisAgree [17] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bollu, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    as now-a-days it's become common factor...as people already used to 'bomb explosion'.. it's much louder..and more fearful..!! slight tremors are nothing in front of it..!! it looks like should be seiko watch building as its mentined sheiko..!! it's now proved..'tremors' occur anywhere..!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Agee, Indian - UAE

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    first picture is quite confusing..
    is that bec of earthq

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis, Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    Kaki in Iran - At least 32 people were killed and 850 injured when an earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, hit Iran's Bushehr province Tuesday.
    No any other damages to GCC coontry - Thank God.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • AMAR NATHAL, MANGALORE

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    Mr. Ronald, don't worry, even if you tell the most noble truth, there are people who disagree.Let's respect readers' right to disagree. You too may disagree with this!

    DisAgree [9] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis, Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    UAE - All is well, All safe.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ethan Avidhan, Florida/ Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    This is very common but since it happened in the day time there is so much pandemonium and it made a news , guys just check how many seismic stations are there in UAE and compare them with whole of India you would be surprised, most of the times it happens in the night so no one is aware, all the sky scrapers are designed for this so nothing to be afraid as this is a common phenomenon in this region .

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'Lore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    In the Wake
    Of These Shakes
    Under the Feet of Sheiks
    To Feel Steady it Takes
    A lot of Cool-Shakes...!
    Dear All concerned:
    My prayer to God
    And whatever it Takes
    For all of you to feel safe
    B'cause of your Stakes....

    DisAgree [12] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronny Crasta, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    Does Dubai have CRZ rules or is it only in India ?

    DisAgree [7] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Lobo, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    This intensity should have created a tsunami in the persian gulf region washing out the palm beach and Al Burj.The developers have gone against nature and will pay a price one day.

    DisAgree [11] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leslie fernandes, Brahmagiri, Udupi

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    DEAR CYRIL,
    NOBODY CAN PREDICT NATURE.
    HOWEVER MOST RECENT DUBAI BUILDINGS ARE DESIGNED AND BUILT TO RESIST EARTHQUAKE EFFECTS UP TO 6.5 RS.
    ALSO THEY ARE HARMONICALLY BALANCED TO REDUCE THE ACTUAL NET IMPACT.
    NOT MUCH TO WORRY AS LONG AS GAS LINES DO NOT GIVE UP.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald DSouza, Doha-Qatar

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    I see that people for no reason click on the disagree option ,when it does not even make any sense or relevance to their action. Come on guys this meant to agree or disagree on an opinion, and not mandatory that you have to click on it. None of the comments made so far on this subject deserve a "Disagree"

    DisAgree [58] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 10 2013

    Mr. Ronald, notice that people have hit disagree on your comments as well. In India I believe childish behaviour prevails to a great extent in adults. There is more reaction compared to thoughtful action.

    Had it been that people were really wise enough to read and understand and then click on the buttons then we would have been a country of intellectuals far ahead of others. But unfortunately we have a huge population of non-productive people as well and they call such kind of activity as "TIME PASS".

    And then there are some who dont know how to use a PC but somehow manage clicking a left and a right button browsing thro pages (trial and error) perhaps this contributes to the disagrees also to a lesser extent.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [43] Reply Report Abuse

  • CYRIL MASCARENHAS, KIREM/MIRA ROAD/BOMBAY

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    ALLAH MAY SAVE US FROM ALL THESE CALAMETIES.WE ALL PRAY TO GOD NOTHING WILL HAPPENS TO OUR GULF PEOPLE.

    DisAgree [40] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

  • Navin, Kwt.

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    Yes i felt mild shake in Kuwait in the afternoon.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    Hope "All Izz Well"

    DisAgree [5] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ayes P., Mangalore/KSA

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    Our building in Dammam KSA also shaken because of tremor just for one minute at that time we went out of the building for sometimes.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • majeed, Qatar/moodbidri

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    NOTHING MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN qatar also NO NEED TO PANIC we are safe

    DisAgree [12] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald DSouza, Doha-Qatar

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    There is no damages or casualties ,It was a mild tremours of the earthquake felt in Qatar.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • SRIDHAR SHETTY, DOHA /BARKUR

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    yes felt in Doha also .... but it is very light so no one is hurt ....all are safe.....

    DisAgree [9] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • OSWALD VAZ, THOTTAM/BAHRAIN

    Tue, Apr 9 2013

    NOTHING MUCH HAS HAPPENED IN BAHRAIN NO NEED TO PANIC !

    DisAgree [10] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

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