Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Dubai Earthquake Tremor Shock Horror

English: Qeshm Island, Iran
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There I am minding my own business yesterday and then wooah what was that? It's a strange feeling, like the ground just liquefied, your gut sort of goes googly and the Masafi on your desk is doing interference patterns. And you realise you're sitting in a skyscraper.

This is never a good time for the imaginative or fancifully inclined.

5.2 on the Moment Magnitude Scale, 10km below the island of Qeshm (which must have been a much more interesting place yesterday than Dubai), off the Iranian coast, the quake is by no means the first such event: recent major quakes taking place there include two biggies in 2005 and 2008.

By the way, I still call it the Richter Scale (as did most of the reporting media) but that's wrong. The MMS is a new scale developed to supercede the Richter Scale in the 1970s and although it uses a similar number scale to denote bigness, it's different to the one formulated by Mr Richter in the 1930s. Who knew?

Thirteen people died in the 2005 event (although Qeshm is relatively sparsely populated) which was a 5.8 event followed by 400 aftershocks. Another seven died in 2008, with a 5.9 event. Luckily there were no reports of casualties or fatalities from the Iranian News Agency yesterday. Note to self: don't buy a house on Qeshm.

Apparently Iran in general gets an average quake a day, sitting as it does on the convergence of the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. Qeshm is a pretty criss-cross of anticlines and synclines - the region's complex geology is one of the reasons why we have all that lovely oil in the Gulf.

Twitter was fun to watch, Gulf News breathlessly tweeting that it was going to write a story about the event soon which was, if I am not much mistaken, a first. Watch this space because there's going to be some news about the news everyone's talking about already. Cool.

And some people left their buildings to stand next to them because it's clearly safer to be under a building than in it when the quake hits and everything falls over. This the media called 'evacuating'. Emirates 24x7 informed us that Sharjah Police had tweeted there was no damage, which was another new low for me. Like I need an online newspaper to tell me what Twitter's saying. Grief.

Anyway, I found this, which is quite cute. It's like FlightTracker but for earthquakes. So you can know when your earthquake has arrived. Or you can go to the horse's mouth - the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (say that after a long night).

Or maybe just go back to work and get over it, which is pretty much what we did.
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1 comment:

Nurseries in Dubai said...

it really did make us all wonder what was going on. Not as bad as when I was in Iran for a while.

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