60% uncomfortable working in high-rise towers

Arabian Business poll reveals unease among workers following tremors drama.
60% uncomfortable working in high-rise towers
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 17 Sep 2008 10:00 AM

More than 60 percent of respondents to an Arabian Business poll have admitted they feel uncomfortable working in high-rise towers - following the recent earthquake tremors in the region.

Of those, 15 percent said they were desperately trying to negotiate a move to an office nearer the ground floor after being caught up in the tremors that shook the UAE last week.

Thousands of people were evacuated from high-rise towers following the quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, hit southern Iran, about 316km from Abu Dhabi.

The tremors were felt most strongly in the northern Emirates, with the aftershock measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale, while 17 aftershock tremors were also felt in the region.

The high drama has prompted many UAE workers to think again about the location of their office. Forty-five percent of respondents said the tremors had left them feeling uncomfortable about working on upper floors of towers.

Buildings all along Sheikh Zayed Road were evacuated as well as buildings in Dubai Media City (DMC).

But 17 percent of people who took part in our online poll said they were confident that all high-rise towers had been built to withstand earthquakes.

While another 23 percent admitted they had never thought about the risk before and were not too worried about the threat of tremors in the future.

The last major earthquake to affect the UAE was in November 2005. The earthquake, which measured 5.9 on the Richter scale, struck Qeshm Island off Iran’s southern coastline and was the strongest to hit the Gulf state in more than 100 years.

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