UAE | Weather

Iran earthquake felt in UAE and Arabian Gulf

Residents in UAE feel tremors as strong earthquake hits Iran

  • By Aftab Kazmi Bureau Chief; Noorhan Barakat, Jumana Khamis, Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporters
  • Published: 16:17 April 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

People are evacuated from the Mushrif Mall
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • People are evacuated from the Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi after tremors in the UAE.
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Dubai: Strong tremors were felt in cities across the UAE due to a severe earthquake on the western coastline of Iran Tuesday afternoon.

The shockwaves of the quake felt in the UAE forced residents of high-rise buildings to rush out to nearby open places.

The earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, jolted several Iranian cities at 3.52pm (1152 GMT), which followed a serious of aftershocks measuring 5.4, 4.6, 4.8, and 4.1, according to the world’s major seismology centres monitoring the region. The powerful quake killed at least 30 people in Iran and injured 800 but left Iran's only nuclear power plant intact, reports AFP.

The shockwaves of the first quake took almost half an hour to reach Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah some 500km across the Arabian Gulf. No casualties and property damage were reported.

The epicentre of the quake was located some 280km in the north of Manama, Bahrain across the sea. It was some 10km deep, according to the US Geological Survey. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said the earthquake’s epicentre was some 153km in the south-west of the Iranian city of Shiraz and some 500km in the north-west of Abu Dhabi.

The closest Iranian city to the earthquake centre is Bushehr, home to Iran’s only nuclear power plant. The jolts were also felt in neighbouring GCC countries including Bahrain, Qatar and parts of Saudi Arabia.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi were rocked by jolts at around 3.50pm. Residents panicked and rushed out to safety. Yousuf Aklia, who works as an architect in Tecom in Dubai, said that he was sitting in his office on the 17th floor and felt quite dizzy. He heard one of his colleagues saying ‘earthquake’. “The earthquake lasted for around 8 seconds,” he said, adding that people from other departments in the building were evacuated.

A Gulf News reader said: “I felt strong tremors in Dubai in Al Nahda. It was really scary...I experienced the same in India also, back in 2001.”

Sharjah residents also confirmed that they experienced mild shaking of the ground. Naveen Frank, who was sitting at his desk on the 14th floor of a building on Sharjah’s Corniche Road, said that he felt the ground shake for a little over five seconds. “The tables and chairs were shaking and we felt mild tremors at the office,” he said. The building was evacuated immediately after the fire alarm went off, he added.

N. Farah, a media specialist in Abu Dhabi, said she felt the tremors in her apartment on Najda Street.

“We were on the ninth floor, and the shaking did not last very long. I actually thought the tremors were from the construction work taking place behind our building. Thankfully, there was no damage,” she said.

An hour after the initial tremors were felt, hundreds of people were still gathered below buildings in the capital. Most were workers in high-rise office towers whose buildings had been evacuated following safety procedures.

Another Sharjah resident, Yasmeen Maqbool, a housewife living on the 17th floor of a residential building in Al Nahda, said she also felt the tremors at her apartment. “The chandeliers and curtains were shaking for more than a minute and then it stopped for a few minutes and started again but it was not as bad,” she said, adding that only residents on higher floors experienced the earthquake.

What to do during an earthquake:
  • Don’t panic. Check your surroundings.
  • Protect your head. Keep away from any hanging objects that may fall.
  • When indoors, stay under sturdy furniture like a table and hold on to it until the shaking stops. Stay away from glass windows and doors.
  • If you’re in the kitchen, switch off the stove before taking cover.
  • When outdoors, stay away from electric posts, gas or fuel lines, or anything unstable that could collapse.

Comments (236)

  1. Added 14:50 April 10, 2013

    I was making a cup of tea in my kitchen when I felt the building shake ever so slightly. I almost dropped the milk jug,

    Robyn, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:30 April 10, 2013

    I was watching EVIL DEATH at that time and I felt the earthquake but I did not take it seriousley...

    m.tariq, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:40 April 10, 2013

    Don't be panic in this type situation. All buildings are built to overcome earthquake especially in Al Mamzar and al Nahda area in Sharjah!!!!

    Anil, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:32 April 10, 2013

    I was in my apartment on the 57th floor. First, I felt very dizzy and I thought that I was feeling bad, so, I sat but I still felt how my building was shaking. I sent a text to a friend and she confirmed that it was an earthquake.

    lau, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:49 April 10, 2013

    I was on 44th Floor in JLT. We all rushed throught escape stairs, 1st time in my life... God's Grace all are Safe... thank God...

    Jaul Pellissery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:51 April 10, 2013

    Some suggestion:- We are lucky that we haven't felt tremor badly, but had it been... as it is written in the news that it took 30 minutes to reach earth quake to UAE... could it not be possible in future that if something happen and is immediately communicated (via phone etc.) to UAE so that proper evacuation can take place in advance and life loss can be avoided.... Further it should also be studied that why only residents on upper floor has only felt it.. and accordingly size of the building should be decided to prevent loss of life in future. Let disaster management be active throughout the year as there are lot of high rise building in dubai, abudhabi, sharjah... Hope some at top level must have thought more than my thinking capacity..

    Harish, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:36 April 10, 2013

    I was having biryani at that time, so was fully concentrated in it...felt nothing :)

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 09:16 April 10, 2013

    I was on the 6th floor of my apartment and I thought I was feeling dizzy and probably having a stroke, then I googled Dubai earthquake and found out we were hit by an earthquake. Hahaha I thought I was probably having a stroke so I googled earthquakes. Im pretty sure thats the recommended action.

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:50 April 10, 2013

    I live in Sharjah but yesterday afternoon I was in Dubai Airport Free Zone. We didnt felt anything in this 2 storey office buliding.

    Jamil Tekedil, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 08:34 April 10, 2013

    I did not feel it in marina area.

    Rajesh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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