Al Ain: A minor earthquake frightened people yesterday morning when it hit the town of Dibba Al Hosn forcing people to rush out of their homes in panic.
Its intensity was 2.0 on the Richter scale and hit the area at 8.30am, when the region was facing strong winds and scattered clouds under the influence of Phet, the powerful tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea.
The epicentre of the quake was near Dibba Al Hosn, a town located between Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, and the shockwaves were felt in the adjacent areas, according to the Abu Dhabi-based National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).
The jolts, however, did not cause any damage but residents of the area who were worried due to the tropical cyclone in the neighbouring Arabian Sea were shaken.
Abdullah Ahsan, a geologist in Al Ain said, the earthquake a local occurrence and jolts were felt only for a few seconds. Geologists and people are normally concerned about the earthquakes occurring in Iran and the Arabian Gulf as it is a major fault zone.
"It's true our major concern comes from the seismic activity in the Zagros earthquake belt in Iran," said the geologist, noting that UAE also has three local fault zones. "We normally receive shockwaves from earthquakes originating in Iran," he said.
Seismology research and monitoring also revealed, several years ago, that UAE also have three local fault zones that are located near Dibba, between Bidyah and Jebel Salhal, and Wadi Ham. These areas have experienced earthquakes several times since March 1999.
Abdul Kareem, a resident of Dibba, said he felt the jots when he was cleaning his shop in the morning. "I thought I am feeling giddy but suddenly realised that its [an] earthquake," he said. Things around him, he said, rattled for a while but nothing fell.
He said the jolts were felt only for a few seconds and when he came out of the shop he saw people from a neighbouring restaurant also standing on the road and talking about the earthquake.