Earthquake-resistant infrastructure needed in Oman, says expert

Oman Monday 20/February/2023 22:15 PM
By: Times News Service
Earthquake-resistant infrastructure needed in Oman, says expert

Muscat: The light tremors felt on Sunday in Duqm area of Al Wusta Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman have added concerns among the public following the catastrophic earthquake that hit Turkiye and Syria recently, which left thousands dead and millions homeless.

However, a top expert at the Sultan Qaboos University has allayed the fears of the residents in Oman by saying that the tremors in Duqm were not a cause of worry.

Dr Issa Al Hussein, Director of the Seismological Center of the Sultan Qaboos University, told Times of Oman: “The earthquake recorded in Al Wusta Governorate on Sunday is the first of its kind in the governorate. There is no history of any earthquakes in the governorate. There is no need to worry as the tremors were weak and did not pose any threat to infrastructure. The magnitude measured on the Richter scale was 4.1.”

He added: "The least vulnerable area to earthquakes is Al Wusta Governorate, and the most vulnerable are the Governorates of Musandam and North Al Batinah, due to its proximity to the Zagros Mountains in Iran."

Earth-quake resistant buildings
Dr Al Hussein said that there is a need to build more earthquake-resistant infrastructure in the Sultanate of Oman.

He said that Oman has in the past recorded light earthquakes but should be ready in future with more earthquake-resistant buildings.

“We have big projects that follow Oman Seismic Code which ensure earthquake resistant buildings that are developed based on the seismic code for design of buildings to achieve optimized design, safety and performance of buildings. However, there is a need to ensure all buildings follow the code for the safety of all,” said Dr Al Hussein.

The Sultanate of Oman is part of the Arabian plate, which comprises the region of Arabia as well as oceanic regions of the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Oman Sea and the Gulf of Aden. No major earthquakes have ever been instrumentally recorded in Oman. The global database, however, lists an earthquake of magnitude 5.1 (Richter scale) in the AI Kamil area in 1971, according to a study undertaken by the Sultan Qaboos University experts.