By Andy Sambidge
US Geological Survey says reports of powerful earthquake to hit this week are 'untrue'
The US Geological Survey (USGS) has denied issuing any report predicting that a powerful earthquake could hit the UAE and GCC countries later this week.
Wendy Baldwin of the USGS made the comments after reports went viral on social media websites that it had forecast the quake to hit the region between April 25-30.
In comments published by news agency WAM, Baldwin said the claim was "untrue and lacked credibility" as the USGS only publishes news of earthquakes that have already occurred.
According to Baldwin, the technology of predicting earthquake is not available.
The USGS said it regretted any panic the report may have caused among residents living in the region.
In response to the rumour that had gone viral on social media networks, the National Centre of Metrology and Seismology also issued a statement denying the claim.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake was recorded on the border of Iran and Pakistan at 2.45pm UAE time on Tuesday last week, according to the 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.