Sep 11 2008

Earthquake hits Dubai

Thousands of people were today evacuated from high-rise buildings across Dubai as earthquake tremors from nearby Iran shook the city.

Workers in locations across the city - from Garhoud to Jebel Ali - report feeling tremors at around 3.15pm. The quake was also felt in Sharjah and Ajman, according to local media.

Tremors were also reportedly felt in Abu Dhabi.

There are no reports of injuries in the UAE.

The quake's epicentre, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, was in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas. Early tonight, four deaths had been reported in Iran, with another 22 people injured. State radio reported that people ran panicking into the Bandar Abbas streets.

In Dubai, several high-rise buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road, including Emirates Towers and Al Moosa Tower, were evacuated. Local sources said that the Reuters building in Media City and another building in Silicon Oasis were also cleared.

An official at the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) in Abu Dhabi told local media that it was common for tremors from Iranian quakes to be felt in the UAE but that they did not pose a danger.

Shortly after the quake, the Dubai Meteorological Office told Emirates Business that there were "no plans to close [Dubai] airport ".

Several seismological fault lines cross Iran. In 2003, about 31,000 people were killed when a quake struck the historic city of Bam, 1,000km south-east of Tehran. In 2005, a quake measuring 5.9 hit Qeshm Island in the Gulf, killing 10 and injuring 50. Its aftershock was felt across the UAE.

By Ben Flanaghan

© Emirates Business 24/7 2008

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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