By Courtney Trenwith
7.8-magnitude quake recorded on Iran-Pakistan border; tremors felt across the Gulf
Workers have been evacuated from buildings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi after the second deadly earthquake in the region in eight days.
At least 40 people are dead in Iran and five in Pakistan, with hundreds more casualties also feared, authorities have told local media.
Officials have declared a state of emergency in the region, describing the quake as the worst in 40 years.
All communications in the area have been cut and rescuers and assessment and evaluation teams from the Iranian Red Crescent Society have been dispatched, the Iranian Red Crescent's Mahmoud Mozaffar told state television.
"In the aftermath of this earthquake five evaluation teams from the Khash and Saravan branches were sent to the area to assess damage," Mozaffar said.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake was recorded on the border of Iran and Pakistan at 2.45pm UAE time, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The magnitude had earlier been recorded as 7.2.
The quake was felt across the Middle East and Asia, with reports of buildings shaking and people running onto the streets in New Delhi, India. Tremors also were felt in Quetta and Karachi in Pakistan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, with hundreds of people evacuated from shaking buildings.
Dubai Airports took to Twitter to allay concerns that flights had been delayed.
“Passenger operations unaffected by tremors in the UAE, no damage to facilities reported. #Earthquake,” it posted in a tweet.
Meanwhile, in Bahrain, the Minister of Interior said the Chief of Public Security had activated the Disaster Management Centre in response to the earthquake.
The epi-centre was 86km from the remote town of Khash in Sistan Baluchistan province, Iran, according to USGS. About 56,000 people are believed to live in Khash, while another 58,000 are estimated to live in nearby Saravan.
It follows a powerful earthquake that struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on April 9, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages.
The 6.3-magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, according to a Red Crescent official, but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged, according to Iranian officials and the Russian company that built it.
Iran sits on numerous fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.
More than 26,000 people died in 2003 when a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Iranian city of Bam and the surrounding Kerman province.
More to follow
It was terrifying!
What an earthquake so this is called an earthquake. Everyday we use to listen about earthquake stories now today I felt it. So thanks to allah to have mercy with us and pardon our wrong doings.
That was scary !
My chair and desk were shaking, and I mean SHAKING.
Didnt feel anything the last time apart from a bit dizzy and my neighbours on higher floors didnt even notice. Today, the plaza level at JBR is full of worried people with their kids. Even hotel staff and guests are out.
Glad Im greater than 829M from Burj Khalifa!
We have a merciful Lord who has protected us!
Thanks to god, we are all safe
Evacuation of building conducted in many places
But high rise building evacuation is very difficult to descend 50 floors or more on the stairs
some measures and innovations in this area are required!!
Gee, all this talk about the nuclear plant in Bushehr not being able to cope with an earthquake (even though Russians and Chinese have stated it can withstand a quake of 9 on the richter scale), makes me wonder what about how much the buildings in the GCC can withstand.
Maybe people who live in glass houses shouldn't.......
I felt a little shift in my left hand which I had placed on the desk. I thought whether I had become old or what...... Within 10 minutes several calls started coming in, "have you felt IT?"
Sure I did!
you really felt it in Dubai?
Hope foundation of all those building in Dubai are strong enough.
The earthquake before this one, the building was shaking and my wife was very scared. since we moved into a villa and didn't feel this one.