Eastern Province earthquake-safe, geologist says

Eastern Province earthquake-safe, geologist says
Updated 12 April 2013

Eastern Province earthquake-safe, geologist says

Eastern Province earthquake-safe, geologist says

Saudi Arabia has built 117 seismic stations, at a cost of SR 46 million, and there are plans to build other stations in the coming three years, Hani Zahran, director of the National Seismic Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes (NSCEV), told a local newspaper.
Commenting on the recent earthquake in the Eastern Province, he said the province is earthquake-safe, but is subject to shock waves.
“The recent earthquake in Iran was with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale, followed by 28 shock waves of varying degrees. The nearest point in Saudi Arabia to the Iranian quake was Jubail,” he said.
Regarding the possibility of any nuclear fallout from Bushehr plant in Iran in the aftermath of an earthquake, he said the plant is at a distance of dozens of kilometers from the epicenter along the Zagros fold and thrust belt.
“The Eastern Province itself is safe, because it is not a seismically active area,” he said.
Talking about the national network for seismic activity detection, he said data at the NSCEV is updated constantly and in the event of an earthquake, the data is published within minutes on the website of the Saudi National Geological Survey.
He added: “About 95 percent of personnel employed at the stations are Saudis. They are involved in the maintenance and construction work as well as analysis of seismic data.”
Saudi Arabia registered more than 9,000 tremors last year, with the highest number (6,212) registered at Harrat Al-Shaqqah. Madinah followed with 1,140 tremors.
Zahran explained that the major areas of earthquake activity fall in the northwest of the Kingdom, the Gulf of Aqaba, north of the Red Sea, and in the southwest. “However, all these areas never witness more than weak tremors, and even the ones that are felt by people have very small impact,” he said.
He highlighted the fact that the Kingdom does not witness any significant volcanic activity. “There is no meaningful volcanic activity in the Kingdom, but NSCEV established networks for detecting seismic activity in many areas in Saudi Arabia, in order to detect any deformation of the earth’s crust or any gases,” Zahran added.