Tremors create panic in EP, Riyadh

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Updated 20 April 2013

Tremors create panic in EP, Riyadh


Thousands of people ran from their homes and offices in the Eastern Province yesterday after tremors were felt from a massive earthquake in Iran.
There were reports of tremors in Dammam, Alkhobar and other parts of the Eastern Province. Tremors were also felt in other Gulf states and as far as India. At least one building in Riyadh was evacuated yesterday when office workers felt the building shake.
No injuries were reported in the Eastern Province or Riyadh by the Civil Defense.
Jamal Khan, an IT expert at Saudi Research and Publishing Company (SRPC) in Dammam, said: “I felt the building shake. I just wanted to find a way to escape.” 
Shajahan, an expatriate living in Dammam, said: “I felt the building shake and was shocked and afraid. When I got outside, I saw other people had also left their buildings.” 
Muhammad Yahya, a citizen, said: “This earthquake was stronger than the one last week.”
Dr. Zuhair Nawab, president of the Saudi Geological Survey, told Arab News yesterday that the Eastern Province and Riyadh felt the earthquake at noon yesterday. “The earthquake in Iran occurred in the south-east of Iran, which is 1,300 km away from the Saudi border,” he said. He said there was no cause for alarm because the Kingdom was far from the earthquake's epicenter.
The Almezan Tower in Olaya Street in Riyadh was evacuated yesterday as a precautionary measure. However, Nawab said the evacuation was not ordered by the Civil Defense, but by the owners and occupants of the complex. 
Suber Syed, who works as a regional product manager at one of the offices at Almezan Tower, said: “I was in a meeting with my team around 2 p.m. when suddenly we felt the table shaking. My other colleagues in the office shouted out in surprise and panic and we all headed toward the corridor. The whole building was being evacuated. The lifts were shut down and we had to take the stairs down from the sixth floor.”
Hemant Pandya, a systems engineer, who also works in the same tower, said: “We felt as if our building was swinging. I first felt our table moving, then my chair swinging. I saw that my colleagues were experiencing the same thing, so we rushed out of the building.”
According to reports, the US Geological Survey said the earthquake hit at a depth of 15.2 km.
On April 9, a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station, killing 37 people, injuring 850 and devastating two villages. This one was not close to a nuclear facility.
Meanwhile, there were reports of 34 people being killed in Pakistan, with hundreds of houses flattened.
Iran sits on major geological faultlines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes, including a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in 2003 that flattened the city of Bam, in the country’s far southeast, killing more than 25,000 people.




Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.