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Gulf | Bahrain

Tremors felt in GCC states as quake strikes Iran

Epicentre not far from major Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi cities

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 18:37 April 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Several high-rise buildings in the Bahraini capital Manama were evacuated on Tuesday afternoon.

The evacuations were carried out following tremors reportedly linked to the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that around 100km southeast of Bushehr in Iran.

The city is where Iran’s only nuclear power station is based.

“I have just got a phone call from my mother telling me that they had to evacuate their offices after they felt the tremor,” Ahmad, a salesman at a bookshop, said.

The interior ministry said that its “Operations Room received calls from residents in the northern area of Bahrain to report they felt tremors, but no financial losses or injuries were recorded.”

“Initial reports indicate those areas were affected by an earthquake that struck Bushehr in Iran measuring 6.1,” the ministry said on its Twitter account.

“The ministry assures the public that everything is fine now and that any development will be communicated through the media.”

In neighbouring Qatar, several felt a “small earthquake” at around 3pm and residents rushed to microblogs and social networks to share the moment.

Shabina 921 reported that “tremors rippled across much of Doha this afternoon, leaving some residents shaking for up to 30 seconds.”

“Numerous office and residential towers have been evacuated in Dafna and West Bay.

Reports of the tremor came in from across the city, primarily near the coast, including at the Crowne Plaza Hotel towards the south-east, Hamad Hospital in the centre of town, and Dafna and West Bay to the north, Shabina posted on the Qatarliving website. “Although not all in Doha felt the tremor, some as far away as Mesaieed and Ras Laffan said they felt it as well.”

Soniya, another blogger, thought that the situation was “crazy”.

“It was really scary...I was sitting on the couch and was teaching my kid. I thought I was feeling sleepy and thus got dizzy kind of feeling... But no, it was an earthquake...My goodness! I ran towards the door with my kid to move out but by that time it got calm,” she posted on the website.

Seasons, another blogger, reported the “desk was shaking” while Calebsmom thought that she was just dizzy.

Nawafshrf111 said he felt the tremors in Najma.

“I was lying down on the couch and felt something shaking my head,” the blogger said. “I also saw the water inside my water jug and the leaves of the plants shaking!”

In Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, people also reported tremors from the earthquake.

“The epicenter of the earthquake in Iran is around 240 kilometres from Jubail,” Hani Al Zahran, the director of the National Centre for Earthquakes, said, referring to the industrial city in Saudi Arabia. “It is 290km from Dammam and 280km from Khobar,” he told Sabq news site. The twin cities are the major residential areas in the Eastern Province.

Some residents in the Saudi capital Riyadh also felt the earthquake tremors, he said.

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