Moderate earthquakes are normal in region, say experts
January 23, 2018 | 11:06 PM
by Maqsood Maniyar/[email protected]
People residing in the country should not worry as moderate earthquakes are the norm in the region.

Muscat: The recent moderate earthquakes off the coast of Oman are a result of the Sultanate’s proximity to seismic zones, according to experts.

Read here: Earthquake recorded near northern Oman coast

However, they clarified that people residing in the country should not worry as moderate earthquakes are the norm in the region.

The southern coast of Oman is quite close to the region where two tectonic plates – the Arabian plate and the Indian Ocean plate overlap.

Moreover, the exclave Musandam is close to where the Arabian plate and the Eurasian plate overlap. The clarification comes in the backdrop of three moderate earthquakes recorded off the coast of Oman in just over a month.

The latest was recorded on Sunday near Dibba in Musandam, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale.

Another one occurred last week, on January 19, some 290 km off Salalah and measured 4.5 on the Richter scale. On December 19, an earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale was recorded 320 km from Duqm.

Dr Issa Al Hussaini, director of the earthquake monitoring centre at Sultan Qaboos University, said moderate earthquakes were a regular occurrence in the region.

“It is not out of the ordinary to have moderate earthquakes here. There is absolutely nothing for people to worry about. It is what we call a transform fault. Oman is quite close to the place where tectonic plates overlap,” he added.

Hussaini remarked that people know more about these quakes because they were being recorded more regularly with proper infrastructure.

He noted that there was a professional early warning system in place.

“There is more knowledge. More quakes are being recorded. Our station was set up in 2001. Also, the tsunami warning centre was set up in 2015. Earthquakes are natural. They’re going to happen.

“We can’t prevent them. What we can do is try to detect them and prepare to the best of our abilities,” he stated.

Narasimhan Sundarajan, associate professor at the Earth Science department of Sultan Qaboos University, echoed much the same sentiments as Hussaini.

“People living in Oman need not be in a panic over earthquakes of such moderate magnitude. Muscat is especially safe, even during moderate to high-magnitude earthquakes. “This is based on our study published a few years ago in Natural Hazards

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news