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Wed 24 Jan 2018 10:59 AM

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Earthquake strikes off Oman's coastal waters

Tremors recorded near Musandam and close to Dibba

Earthquake strikes off Oman's coastal waters

An earthquake struck the coastal waters of Oman on Tuesday morning, near Musandam and close to Dibba, situated on the northern tip of the eastern Arabian Peninsula.

According to the Sultan Qaboos University's Earthquake Monitoring Centre, the earthquake measured 3.2 on the Richter Scale and occurred offshore of Oman's northern coast at around 8:33 am.

An official at the centre said that the earthquake did not have any effect on Oman or its coastal waters.

The tremors follow another earthquake around 290 kilometres south of Salalah, recorded on January 19, 2018 and measuring 4.5 on the Richter Scale.

A slightly bigger one - measuring 4.9 on the Richter Scale also occurred on December 19, 2017, off the coast of Oman, around 320 kilometres from Duqm.

Two tectonic plates – the Arabian plate and the Indian Ocean plate - overlap close to Oman’s southern coast, while the Musandam enclave is close to the Arabian plate and the Eurasian plate overlap.

This makes earthquakes commonplace in the region. However, experts stress that these are moderate in scale.

Dr Issa Al Hussaini, director of the earthquake monitoring centre at Sultan Qaboos University, told Times of Oman: “It is not out of the ordinary to have moderate earthquakes here. There is absolutely nothing for people to worry about. It is what we call a transform fault. Oman is quite close to the place where tectonic plates overlap.”

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