Tremors from 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan felt in Qatar
With reporting from Heba Fahmy
Residents from across Qatar have reported feeling the aftershocks of a powerful earthquake that originated in Afghanistan this afternoon.
According to tweets, the tremors were felt in West Bay, Al Sadd, old Airport and other parts of the country shortly before 12:30pm.
The Qatar Meteorology Department also confirmed that tremors were felt by those high up in towers.
A spokesperson told Doha News that there were no injuries or damages, adding:
“An earthquake of the strength of 7.7 was detected in Afghanistan at 12:09pm on Monday and residents of towers and high buildings in Qatar sensed it. Thank God there were no direct effects on Qatar. May God protect Qatar from earthquakes and disasters.”
Some residents reported being evacuated from their buildings, though local utility provider Kahramaa has previously warned individuals who are indoors to stay there and take cover under a table or desk.
Those who are outside should move away from tall buildings to avoid being struck by falling glass or debris.
The 7.5 magnitude earthquake has also sent much stronger aftershocks into India, Pakistan and the surrounding region, according to media reports. First responders in the area are already preparing to help with casualties.
This is not the first time the country has felt the reverberations of a strong earthquake.
In April 2013, a major earthquake struck Iran, and many residents here were evacuated from their buildings.
In response, last year authorities launched six seismic sensors across Qatar to detect earthquakes and aftershocks coming from other countries.
It remains unclear however if the new system picked up on the tremors before they occurred.
Speaking to Doha News, Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist for Al Jazeera English, said it is difficult to measure whether the aftershocks did reach Doha today, and that it “seems a very long way away for us to feel it.”
She added that earthquakes cannot be predicted in advance.
There is a “generally low seismic hazard in the Arabian Peninsula,” despite its proximity to earthquake-prone regions in Iran and Pakistan, according to a 2008 paper published by a pair of London researchers.
The distance between Doha and major fault lines in the region means Qatar’s capital is even less likely to experience tremors than other Gulf cities such as Muscat.
Did you feel the aftershocks? Thoughts?