Tremors felt in Dubai from 5.1 magnitude earthquake in southern Iran
ABU DHABI // Tremors were felt across the UAE on Tuesday morning as a 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck Iran.
It hit at 9.44am local time and the shaking measured between 4 and 5 on the Mercalli intensity scale, according to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology.
The weather bureau confirmed the epicentre was 60 kilometres east of Qeshm, an island in southern Iran, about 120km north of Ras Al Khaimah.
The US Geological Survey also reported the seismic event as a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck at 9.44am at a depth of about 10km.
Residents in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, especially those living and working in high-rise buildings, took to social media after feeling tremors from the quake, with some reporting they had been removed from buildings.
Workers at the Dubai International Finance Centre were among those moved as a safety precaution.
A member of the security team said that employees at the finance centre were told to leave their desks after the tremor.
“It was just for a few minutes, then they returned to work,” he said.
The last time tremors from an earthquake were felt in the Emirates was in April last year, when a 7.8 magnitude quake struck southwestern Pakistan.
Bhavna Bhikajee, a public relations manager who works in Dubai Media City, felt the termor even in her low-rise office.
“I was at my desk at work when I first felt a shake – my entire desk swayed back and forth a few times. At first I wasn’t sure that it was an earthquake it was so quick, but my colleagues all felt it too,” said the 31-year-old.
“I actually thought we might get evacuated because this is what happened last time there was a tremor, but once it was over we carried on working as normal. It wasn’t that much of a big deal in our building.”
Ziad Awartani was working in Business Central Towers in Dubai Internet City on the 35th floor. The social media executive said the tremor lasted 10 to 15 seconds. “We were just sitting and then I felt the shake and I looked up and the chandelier was moving, so I figured it was an earthquake.
“I looked at the people around me and everyone was looking around not knowing what was going on.”
The 27-year-old said last year’s tremor was more serious, leading the building’s staff to move residents out, though this year, this did not happen.
“We just got back on with work, but last year we got evacuated because it was a lot bigger and lasted about 20 seconds. Last year it actually moved stuff on my desk as opposed to this year, which was a minor shake.”
Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM