The UAE’s building codes, which are designed to ensure buildings withstand earthquake tremors of 5.5 to 6 on the Richter scale, are perfectly fine, officials were quoted as saying. The officials said the fact that there had been no one injured nor reports of structural damage following the 7.8 magnitude quake to hit Iran on Tuesday was evidence that the codes were working, according to the Gulf News.
Authorities on Wednesday reiterated that there was no reason for the public to worry as building practices in the country were sound. They also stressed that the country’s emergency preparedness in the event of a major calamity was solid.
Dubai Municipality confirmed that tremors did not damage any buildings or properties, with Husain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the municipality, saying that strict construction standards protecting residential and office structures from aftershocks had been observed across the emirate. Lootah said Tuesday’s evacuations were a precaution despite historical evidence showing that less powerful tremors do not render high levels of damage.
The tremors felt in the UAE were below the minimum standards set by Dubai Municipality for all buildings, which are able to withstand 5.5 magnitude tremors, according to the paper The quake’s impact in the UAE was estimated at between 4 and 5 on the Richter scale, according to the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), though it was massive at its epicenter near the Pakistan-Iran boarder. It was some 660km away from the nearest UAE point, Ras Al Khaimah.
Dr Jamal Al Hosani, spokesman of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) as well as the NCMS, said members of the public are a partners in safety. He called on them to educate themselves on safety procedures to stay calm in the wake of an earthquake or any other natural calamity.
“We don’t want panic as it causes injuries,” he said, adding that the NCEMA has continuously updated plans about all the safety hazards, including earthquakes. “Earthquakes are on our disaster management list but not on top of it as [the] UAE is not a locally active seismic zone,” he said.