UAE authorities have dismissed rumours circulated on social media that an earthquake is set to strike the northern emirates and have warned residents against believing unofficial weather forecasts.
“The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has cautioned [the] public against believing rumours of an earthquake in the northern parts of the UAE,” according to a statement issued by the WAM news agency.
“The NCMS warned against unofficial predictions spreading through text messages and social networking websites, and urged citizens and residents in the UAE to get weather information only from authorised and reliable sources,” it added.
The last earthquakes to strike the UAE were in May 2009 when two earthquakes measuring 4.7 and 5.5 on the Richter scale occurred during the early hours of the morning. The quake's epicentre, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, was in southern Iran about 316km from Abu Dhabi, but strong tremors were felt in the UAE.
“There is no way to track [a] coming earthquake. No one in the world can predict [an] earthquake to hit any region, so is the case with Dubai too. It’s just a rumor that [an] earthquake will hit Dubai,” the World Disaster Report blog, which monitors natural disasters around the globe, said of the earthquakes reports circulated online yesterday.
The NCMS announcement comes just days after fears on Twitter of a cyclone about to hit the UAE proved to be false.