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Bahrain tremors link to quakes?

ANY one of three earthquakes across Asia could have been responsible for tremors felt in Bahrain on Tuesday night, it has emerged.

The earthquakes in Pakistan, Iran and Yemen were all reported within a short interval of each other, a US Navy spokeswoman told the GDN.

However, experts stressed that Bahrain was in no danger of an earthquake itself - since it is located in the centre of the Arabian Plate.

"With three major quakes in the immediate vicinity of Bahrain, it is not surprising there were tremors in Bahrain as well," the US Navy spokeswoman said.

"However, there is no record of any seismic activity in Bahrain itself."

She said in addition to an earthquake in southwest Pakistan measuring 7.2 on the Richter Scale, there was also a 4.2 quake in southeast Iran and a 4.8 quake in Yemen. "Since these are countries geographically close to Bahrain, there could have been tremors felt here," she added.

The GDN reported yesterday that a number of worried residents had contacted Civil Aviation Affairs after feeling Tuesday's tremors, shortly after the earthquake rocked the Baluchistan province of Pakistan.

Several residents also contacted the GDN to report the tremors, with one caller from Juffair saying his television was literally shaking.

The Interior Ministry said its main operations room was inundated with calls from Juffair, Mahooz, Adliya, Hidd, Muharraq and Manama, with special patrols being despatched to reassure the public and ensure safety at major installations.

Meanwhile, Bapco head of exploration Yahya Al Ansari said there was no reason to panic.

"Since Bahrain is in the centre of the Arabian Plate, we are extremely safe from such activity," he told the GDN.

"There is a possibility there were some vibrations in Bahrain, but these cannot be called an earthquake.

"The chances of an earthquake in Bahrain are very, very remote and nothing like that has happened in living memory. There is also no ancient record of an earthquake happening in the country."

Mr Al Ansari said Bahrain's neighbours located on the edge of the Arabian Plate - Iran, Yemen and Egypt's Red Sea coast - often reported earthquakes and said it was possible for tremors to be felt here.

One Bahrain resident who felt the tremors said she thought she was having a heart attack.

"At around 11pm I felt something moving, I thought I was having a dizzy spell or a heart attack and I panicked," she said on condition of anonymity.

The British expatriate, who lives alone, said she only realised what had happened the next morning. "I decided to just go to bed and sleep," she said.

"It was only the next morning I realised it was an earthquake and my health was intact."

Another resident, Sadiq Shemna, who lives in Hoora, said his wife felt their building move. "She told me the building seemed to be moving, but we did not give it much thought and went to sleep," he said. mandeep@gdn.com.bh



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