6.1 earthquake rocks UAE (Lead, Changing dateline)

September 10th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 10 (IANS) An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale rocked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Wednesday afternoon, forcing thousands of people to evacuate buildings.Though the epicentre of the quake was tracked to the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas, 316 km from the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, the tremors could be felt in several places in the UAE.

People in highrise buildings, especially on the arterial Sheikh Zayed road, came out on the streets following the tremors.

“The whole office was swaying for about five minutes. No one knew what was happening. It was very scary,” an employee working on the 54th floor of Park Place on Sheikh Zayed Road told the Arabian Business magazine.

Some of the highest skyscrapers in the world are located in this west Asian metropolis.

Apart from Dubai, tremors were also felt in the neighbouring emirates of Sharjah and Ajman.

Meanwhile, an official at the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) in Abu Dhabi said it was common for tremors from earthquakes in Iran to be felt in the UAE.

“We will feel tremors from time to time, but people should not panic as there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

No report of loss of life or damage to property had come in till the time of filing of this report.

The UAE is home to around 1.5 million expatriate Indians.

The earthquake also jolted the southern Iranian province of Hormuzgan, the Khabar news network reported.

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