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Earthquake risk in Dubai 'lower than that of London'

posted on 12/04/2007: 2978 views



The seismic risk in Dubai is lower than that of London and it is not dangerous as has been reported in some risk assessment reports, said an expert. "There is also no possibility of a tsunami in this region because Arabian Gulf waters are not deep enough to trigger a tsunami," said Angus McFarlane, Technical Director of Building Structures at Hyder Consulting Middle East.



Speaking at a seminar on 'Seismic Hazards in the Gulf', he said the seismic risk assessment indicates that the seismic hazard in the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain is significantly low.



Dubai Municipality organised the seminar yesterday in cooperation with Hyder Consulting Middle East. Khalid Mohammad Saleh, Director of the Building Department at Dubai Municipality, said the seminar forms part of the civic body's initiative to offer a continuous learning environment for the local architects and consultant engineers. Saleh said the municipality has recently set up four Earthquake Monitoring Stations across the emirates.



The system has been developed in line with the recent techniques being adopted to monitor seismic activity. Each stations contains equipment for recording vibrations and movements of earth. These stations has been set up in Hatta, Nazwa, Al Faqa and Al Ashosh.



"While the UAE is relatively safe from seismic activity due to the nature of its soil, there is a growing national emphasis on seismic risk assessment and seismic design requirements for new structures," he said.



Saleh said the municipality will continuously adapt new procedures and align its efforts with industry leaders to bring the best of new solutions to the construction industry.



The seminar also featured another industry expert, Grahame Bunce, Technical Director of Geotechnics at Hyder Consulting. He said seismic engineering is one of the most rapidly evolving disciplines.



"Based on a study held in 2005 by geologists at the UAE University, three fault zones have been identified in the UAE while the source of the major concern in the country is the seismic activity in the Zagros earthquake belt in Western Iran. "Minimum distance to Zagros Fault from the UAE is 120km but Dubai is not at high risk in case of any seismic movement on the fault," said McFarlane. (Gulf News)

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