Al Ain: Tremors felt in the UAE on Tuesday were quite normal given the country’s close proximity to Iran and the coastal Makran rift of Pakistan that is considered among the major fault lines of the world.
Most of the tremors felt in the emirates are linked with the seismic activity in those regions, said Abdullah Ali Al Saleh, a UAE geologist.
The latest tremors in the UAE come from the seismic activity in Iran, a country with a long history of big earthquakes and a major fault line, Zagros belt, which passes through southern Iran.
Two major earthquakes in just a week, measuring 6.3 and 7.8, have also triggered debates on the safety of some critical installations including the Iran’s nuclear power plant.
According to UAE geologists, the earthquake risks are slightly higher in the northern and eastern parts of the UAE for their proximity to the Iranian fault line. These risks are associated with infrastructure damage and their intensity may increase as these areas are located on solid rock unlike the sandy land in other parts of the emirates.
Al Saleh said the earth is dynamic and its seismic activities are normal.
People should realise that they are living in places that are moving all the time and must take precautions and safety measures.
“Those who forget it, they do so on their own risks,” he added.
According to the US National Earthquake Information Centre in Denver, UAE is located on the edge of Arabian Tectonic Plate that has been pushing against the Eurasian plate at a rate of approximately three centimetres per year. The fault line, the meeting points of both the plates, passes through Iran.
The UAE has done lots of work on seismology and the first monitoring facility was set up in 2003 to monitor the seismic anomalies in the emirates and the region.
The UAE University installed two broadband remote sensing units, one in Al Hail near Fujairah and Mezayed district near Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. It also established a seismic laboratory in a joint venture with the Department of Geology at the UAE and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) of the University of California in the US.
The northern emirates in the UAE have experienced earthquakes several times in the recent years since March 1999. A jolt struck the area on the morning of March 3, 1999, and was followed by another similar tremor on the night of March 11. An earthquake of magnitude 5.1 on the Richter scale again struck Masafi in March 2002.