Twin earthquakes strike northern Arabian Gulf

The tremors were 10km south of Bushehr, where Iran's nuclear power plant is located

(FILES) This handout satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on January 8, 2020, shows an overview of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, southeast of the city of Bushehr. Iran's southern Bushehr nuclear power plant has been temporarily shut down over a "technical fault" and will be reconnected to the grid and the issue will be resolved "in a few days", the country's atomic energy body said in a statement but did not elaborate further. -  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - The watermark may not be removed/cropped

 / AFP / Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies / - /  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - The watermark may not be removed/cropped
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Two earthquakes struck the northern Arabian Gulf on Sunday.

The first, measuring 4.7, occurred at a depth of 10km off the coast of Bushehr in Iran at 6.49am.

A second, with a magnitude of 5, struck the same area and depth at 8.25am.

There was no impact on the UAE, said Khamis Al Shamsi, director of the National Centre of Meteorology’s Seismology department.

Quote
You do not see too many in the sea, maybe two to five per year
Khamis Al Shamsi, National Centre of Meteorology

The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran’s first commercial nuclear reactor, is located on the coast nearby.

Iran is one of the world’s most seismically active countries. Most of its earthquakes occur on land.

There are only a handful of quakes in the waters of the Arabian Gulf each year.

“You do not see too many in the sea, maybe two to five per year,” said Mr Al Shamsi.

“An earthquake of that magnitude would not cause a tsunami. These quakes are not very strong [in comparison to the one in Tonga, which was 7.4 magnitude]. They are moderate.

“Also the Arabian Gulf is shallow, compared with the Pacific and Atlantic.”

For that reason, it is unlikely there would ever be a tsunami in the Arabian Gulf, said Mr Al Shamsi.

But it did happen in the Arabian Sea in 1945, due to a strong earthquake off Pakistan with a 8.1 magnitude.

A resulting tsunami was recorded in Oman and even Seychelles, 3,400km away.

An earthquake with a 6.3 magnitude struck Bushehr province in 2013. At least 37 people were killed and 850 were injured. It was felt in many countries in the region, including the UAE.

Iran regularly suffers destructive quakes, which are occasionally felt in the UAE.

Since 1900, at least 126,000 people have died in Iran as a result of earthquakes.

Tonga tsunami: in pictures

Updated: January 16, 2022, 8:55 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL