Office workers stand outside their office building
following tremors in central Manama April 16
Quake threat in Bahrain dismissed
Manama, April 24, 2013
Claims that Bahrain could be affected by a major earthquake predicted to hit Iran in the coming days have been dismissed by regional experts.
The US Geological Survey Agency (USGS) warned a tremor measuring 9.8 could happen anytime between tomorrow and April 30.
It says the impact could "destroy an entire region and bury it", affecting the Gulf countries, Yemen and Iraq.
But the Abu Dhabi-based National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) dismissed the threat, saying earthquakes could not be accurately predicted.
"The USGS cannot predict earthquakes, no one can," said a spokesman. "This is just a rumour and it is not correct."
The spokesman described the prediction as "preposterous" and said it appeared to be a scare tactic.
"The online reports say that the expected earthquake is 9.8 on the Richter scale, but the largest earthquake on record was in 1960 in Chile which was 9.5, so it is preposterous to even report that the biggest earthquake ever recorded will hit in any given timeframe," he said.
"Even if there is a catastrophic earthquake Bahrain is not located next to any tectonic plates and those are near the Iranian mountains and in Yemen. People should not worry at all."
Reports of the major earthquake came as rumours circulated on Twitter yesterday that a tremor had been felt at Bahrain University and the Bahrain International Circuit.
However, the NCMS spokesman confirmed there was no record of any earthquake in the Gulf.
Online reports claimed the tremors in Bahrain could have been caused by a military exercise.
Tremors were felt across Bahrain last Tuesday for the second time in a week after a massive earthquake struck Iran.
Thousands were evacuated from high-rise buildings in the Seef District, the Diplomatic Area and large parts of Manama after fire alarms went off because of the shockwave, at around 1.40pm, which left many feeling dizzy.
Many working in the country's financial centre were also sent home for the day amid fears of an aftershock. – TradeArabia News Service