Residents feel earthquake in Ras Al Khaimah

A minor tremor was recorded in the northern emirates on Sunday

11.01.19 Dubai resident Fatima Deryan spending her Friday climbing the highest peak of the UAE; Jebel Jais  in Ras Al Khaimah. Fatima is training to climb Everest in March.
Anna Nielsen For The National

Residents of Ras Al Khaimah reported feeling gentle tremors around 3pm on Sunday - a result of an earthquake that struck Qeshm Island, south of Iran.

The National Centre of Meteorology confirmed that Qeshm Island was hit by a 5 magnitude tremor at 2.54pm. It said the earthquake occurred at a depth of 42km and was slightly felt by residents in RAK.

No injuries or damage were reported, the centre said.

One resident in the Khuzam area said that she was watching TV when she felt the tremor.

“I thought that I got dizzy for a second but when I saw the chandelier moving I realised that it was an earthquake,” said Mariam Zaid, 22.

“It lasted only for a few seconds I guess, but nothing was damaged,” she said.

Last December, Masafi, a town located between Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, was hit by a 2.1 magnitude tremor that occurred at a depth of 11km. Nobody was injured and no buildings were damaged.

In October 2018, reports of minor tremors associated with loud noises were reported by residents in the northern emirates. The National Centre of Meteorology confirmed an earthquake measuring 2.1 degrees on the Richter scale recorded in Iran but said that "what the population felt in the north of the emirate had nothing to do with this tremor".

The UAE sits on the Arabian tectonic plate but its border with the Eurasian plate, which strikes through the Gulf of Oman, makes the country susceptible to tremors.

The Arabian plate is moving northwards at about 3cm per year — approximately the rate at which human fingernails grow - and is bumping into the Eurasian plate, which covers a vast swathe of Europe and Asia. Where they collide, the Zagros Mountains have been formed and instability results.