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Residents call for quake monitoring centre in UAE

By Sebugwaawo Ismail / 15 September 2007

RAS AL KHAIMAH — In the wake of the mild tremors that shook Ras Al Khaimah and its neighbouring areas on Thursday causing widespread panic, some residents have expressed the need for an earthquake monitoring office that could alert them to seismic activity in advance.

RAK residents

Residents of Nakheel and Al Rams areas in Ras Al Khaimah city who spoke to Khaleej Times expressed concern over the tremors and urged authorities to consider setting up an earthquake monitoring centre.

“I have seen it happen more than once in just two years of stay in the country,” said Imran Hafif, a resident of Nakheel area in RAK.

Similar tremors

“Last year I was working in Sharjah and similar tremors took us by surprise that led to so many people rushing to parks,” said another resident.

“I think a monitoring centre would be useful to the country and prevent loss of life and property in future if tremors of higher magnitude occurred,” said another resident.

According to an official from Ras Khaimah Civil Defence, there is no way that the department could gauge the magnitude of the seismic activity as such a facility was not available with the department.

The Fujairah Airport Meteorological Department, too, had not issued any statement concerning the tremors and their magnitude.

No loss reported

While confirming that there was no loss of life or property as a result of the tremors, Civil Defence officials said they were in constant touch with police and other authorities to monitor the situation.

At present there are a few monitoring centres in the region, including one at the Qaboos University in Oman, and one each in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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