Saudi Scientist Warns of Tremors, Aftershocks

RIYADH – A Saudi scientist monitoring Sunday’s earthquake has warned of fresh tremors and aftershocks, which can cause more deaths and devastation in Southern Asia.

Dr. Khaled S. Al-Damegh of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), said here yesterday that Saudi Arabia’s measurement of the quake has been verified by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which has revised the official magnitude up to 9.0 on the Richter scale.

Dr. Al-Damegh, who also spoke about the earthquake monitoring stations set up in Saudi Arabia and the seismic activities in the Gulf region, said that “the aftershocks in Asia have already begun.

 He said that “aftershocks, which generally follow quakes and sometimes tremors after a major earthquake or tsunamis, are more devastating and can last for weeks together.”

In fact, a fresh tremor hit islands far off India’s eastern coast yesterday itself.

Asked how quake-prone are the coastal areas of the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia, the scientist said that “the records of quake occurrences show that this peninsula is safer than many similar geographical zones across the globe.”

“Our coastal lines are not along the Indian Ocean and they don’t lie along closed seas; which make this region safer than others,” explained Dr. Al-Demegh, an assistant professor at KACST’s Astronomy and Geophysics Research Institute.

He said “though, we have experienced some quakes in the Kingdom in the past, most of them were of low magnitudes.”

He pointed out that Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) is entrusted with the task of reporting to the government about earth-quakes.

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