Boffins baffled by Dubai quake reports
Dozens of people in Dubai are convinced they felt the earth move – literally – on Tuesday evening but earthquake boffins said no tremors were recorded.
People in Jumeirah, Al Safa and Jebel Ali were all a bit spooked by three distinct rattles of their doors and windows at precisely 7.30pm.
Dozens of people reported their “freaky” experience on the Radio 92 Catboy and Geordiebird facebook page – recounting how after the tremor their cats and dogs “went crazy”.
Keren Bobker said on facebook: “Doors rattled three times in Umm Sequim 1. Bit freaky!”
And Claire Townsend said: “One cat still going bonkers...”
Alison Leach added: “Front door rattling in jumeira 2. I thought there was some weirdo outside!”
But seismologists at the national meteorology and seismology centre in Abu Dhabi, which records earthquake activity across the region, were baffled by the reports.
When 7DAYS asked a spokesman if there were tremors he said: “No, no, no! There was no activity whatsoever recorded on Tuesday evening.”
Dubai has suffered from tremors in the past, buildings were evacuated at 3pm on September 10, 2008. The tremors were aftershocks from a major earthquake in Iran.
One facebooker recalled another incident around a year ago: “Last time my baby's bedroom floor starting crackling and eventually all lifted up! My visitors who were in Dubai for the first time and sleeping in that room weren't very amused!”
With no seismic activity reported what DID cause the rattling windows and doors and upset pets?
And Vanessa Noble, of Arabian Ranches, said: “Could it have been a sonic boom? There was one in Coventry, UK, not so long ago and it sounds like the same sort of thing.”
While British expat Colin Harrison mused: “Was paying restaurant bill at 7.30. Always feel a bit weak at the knees when that happens, so business as usual tonight!”
Ironically the mysterious movements came on the same day as Dubai Municipality announced it had installed five new quake sensors around Dubai.
The five devices were put in urban areas across the emirate as an addition to the existing network of seismic activitiy.
Director of the Survey Department, Mohamed Mashroom said the installation will also increase the efficiency of early warning systems for earthquakes.
He added: "The new devices are similar to those used in USA and countries in the European Union for this purpose.
“During earthquakes, these devices monitor the actual ground acceleration of seismic waves and its impacts on the buildings and will send data spontaneously using GPRS to the data processor in the survey department.”
But the system recorded nothing on Tuesday.