The USGS reported the Monday quake in Iran with a 5.4 magnitude, with epicentre at 73km N of Bandar-e Lengeh, Iran 2019-10-21 10:58:52 (UTC) Image Credit: USGS

Dubai: A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Southern Iran on Monday afternoon, sending tremors that residents said they felt from Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

The earthquake hit southern Iran at 14:58 on Monday (October 21, 2019) UAE time, according to the National Centre of Meteorology's National Seismic Network.

“A 5.1 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale is recorded in South of Iran at 2.58pm (UAE time) on Monday afternoon, according to the NCM National Seismic Network. It was felt by few residents in the north of UAE,” the National Centre of Meteorology said in a tweet.

The USGS reported the quake's magnitude at 5.4, with epicentre at 73km north of Bandar-e Lengeh, Iran.

Euronews, quoting Fars News Agency, reported a slightly higher magnitude at 5.6. The quake was focussed near the town of Kukherd, in the southern province Hormozgan, Fars stated.

Residents shared on social media videos of shaking light fixtures and how they felt lightheaded because of the shaking.

“Earthquake in UAE?!!!” said @byunhetchahyun on Twitter.

Another Twitter post by Maroun Tabet said: “Earthquake in Dubai UAE felt it just a minute ago. Anybody else felt the same? I am in JLT area.”

Fariha Akhtar thought she was lightheaded but realized it wasn’t her but something else.

“I thought I was dizzy but apparently not. Did anyone else feel the jolt? Earthquake?” Akhtar said in a tweet.

It was not immediately known if the earthquake caused damages.

According to a diagram posted by the Earth Disaster Information System which analyses risks brought about by earthquakes, the “moderate” tremor that had a depth of 10km was “felt” in the coastal areas of the UAE from Abu Dhabi northwards Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, until Ras Al Khaimah.

Residents in Deira offices said the shaking lasted for about a minute.

“Out of the blue we felt the building shake. It wasn’t that strong but because we’re on the 19th floor of the Deira Twin Towers, we felt it,” Sarah Gasapo, 30, a Filipina Engineer, told Gulf News.

“My colleagues and I were thinking of hiding under our desks because we could see our stuff shaking and wall décors swaying, but we said we’ll observe it first. I think it lasted for about a minute, I can’t tell for sure,” Gasapo said, adding she prayed for everyone’s safety.

Shiny Shajudheen, an Indian expatriate whose office is on the 18th floor in the Barsha Heights area, said: “I felt shaky and saw two of my key chains shaking, out of my 30 to 40 keychain collection. Then I looked around to check my colleagues but no one seemed to have noticed. Then I thought maybe I just ate too much during lunch,” she said with a chuckle. “But apparently it was an earthquake.”

What is the Richter Magnitude Scale?
The Richter magnitude scale, also known as the local magnitude (M) scale, assigns a number to quantify the amount of seismic energy released by an earthquake. It is a base-10 logarithmic scale.
  • < 2.0 (Micro) Micro earthquakes, not felt
  • 2.0-2.9 (Minor) Generally not felt, but recorded
  • 3.0-3.9 Often felt, but rarely causes damage
  • 4.0-4.9 (Light) Noticeable shaking of indoor items, rattling noises. Significant damage unlikely
  • 5.0-5.9 (Moderate) Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most, slight damage to well-designed buildings
  • 6.0-6.9 (Strong) Can be destructive in areas up to about 160 kilometres (100 mi) across in populated areas
  • 7.0-7.9 (Major) Can cause serious damage over larger areas
  • 8.0-8.9 (Great) Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred miles across
  • 9.0-9.9 (Catastrophic) Devastating in areas several thousand miles across
  • 10.0+ (Epic) Never recorded