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Monday, March 8, 2021

Qatar establishes early warning system to detect earthquakes

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Qatar Seismic Network Project

Six seismic sensors, spread out across Qatar to detect earthquakes and aftershocks, officially entered operation today to give local researchers a better idea of what’s happening beneath the country’s surface.

Speaking to reporters today, officials at Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority – which oversees the meteorology department – said the major earthquake that struck Iran in April 2013 – and whose aftermath was felt here – illustrated the need for better monitoring equipment in this country.

At the time, local officials were relying on outdated equipment to understand the magnitude of the tremors that were rippling across the Gulf, including Qatar.

“From that day, we knew we needed to establish something seriously,” Mohammed Jabir Almarri, a government meteorology specialist, told Doha News. “We have to protect human life … There are also many, many important buildings that have to be protected.”

Qatar Seismic Network Project

Qatar Seismic Network Project

This morning, dignitaries gathered at the Meteorology Department’s headquarters near Abu Hamour for the official launch of the Qatar Seismic Network Project. Scientists will prepare daily reports based on the vibrations detected by six sensors.

Almarri said there are plans to expand the network next year to add more than 20 monitoring stations in the West Bay / Dafna area and, further in the future, offshore sensors attached to buoys in the Gulf.

Upon detecting any serious seismic activity, the Meteorology Department would immediately contact Civil Defense, Almarri said.

“If there is an earthquake anywhere in the country, (we) can send some warnings to leave buildings.”

However, the data is also expected to be used to gain a better understanding of the seismic activity occurring in Qatar, which could help refine building standards here.

“The data is meant to be shared widely,” Almarri said. He suggested that architects could take an area’s seismic history into account when designing structures.

Risks in Qatar

Qatar Seismic Network Project

There is a “generally low seismic hazard in the Arabian Peninsula,” despite its proximity to earthquake-prone regions in Iran and Pakistan, according to a 2008 paper published by a pair of London researchers.

The distance between Doha and major fault lines in the region means Qatar’s capital is even less likely to experience tremors than other Gulf cities such as Muscat.

Nevertheless, the pair of earthquakes felt in 2013 prompted a re-evaluation of building codes across the region that were expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Additionally, local utility Kahramaa previously issued a set of guidelines on how residents should respond during an earthquake.

Individuals who are indoors should stay inside and take cover under a table or desk. Those who are outside should move away from tall buildings to avoid being struck by falling glass or debris.

Thoughts?

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

OK, so this guy has absolutley no idea what to do in case of an earthquake.

“If there is an earthquake anywhere in the country, (we) can send some warnings to leave buildings.”

Did he even attend Earthquake Prepardness 101?? That is totally the wrong thing to do.

If these stations were set up to further scientific knowledge then that is great but to help prepare the country for a major earthquake they are next to useless. Qatar is not near any fault lines to cause concern and a look at the history books will tell you the incidents of earthquakes in Qatar that have actually injured or killed a person are zero.

What next a Polar Bear reserach station to prevent bear attacks? I know Qatar has lots of money but does it needed to be wasted on every silly idea..

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

“entered operation today to give local researchers a better idea of what’s happening beneath the country’s surface” “will prepare daily reports based on the vibrations detected by six sensors.” “the data is also expected to be used to gain a better understanding of the seismic activity occurring in Qatar, which could” – key words, expected and could, “The data is meant to be shared widely,” “There is a “generally low seismic hazard in the Arabian Peninsula,” despite its proximity to earthquake-prone regions in Iran and Pakistan” Do you read beyond the headline or stop there when forming your opinion? The words that undo you are “broadly” “daily” “could” “expected”. there are major gaps in seismic and geological understanding (and in all science, remember when Pluto was a planet, or how to do this day there is no scientific undisputed proof for why things sleep including us), as well a country who’s natural resources lie underground would probably be even more concerned with having this type of data. There are hundreds of ways to use data like this, something that didn’t seem to cross your mind because it wasn’t explicitly said, oh wait “the data is meant to be shared widely”, but we should forgive the man to whom this quote is attributed, he probably meant it for a more critical audience.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Yes, there are many gaps in science, but there are also probabilities and statistics. Depending on the topic and data, we have an understanding of some subjects more than others.

Money and time can be better spent on other things that affect human lives more frequently and dangerously like the fire safety.

The oil companies in Qatar already have the seismic data over the natural resources (and not due to earthquakes as that is not a concern). The United States Geological Survey monitors and records all earthquake activity and hazards globally (and has for many years).

There are strong reasons for earthquakes occuring where they usually do (the plate movements) and active fault zones are well known. Maybe Qatar will experience more aftershocks from Earthquakes in Iran but it is highly unlikely. And even so they are kidding themselves if they think that they will be able to send word to buildings before it is felt.
Also do they actually think that architects will use the data and spend the time and money to make buildings “earthquake safe”? Most buildings here are built as cheap as possible and on the minimum safety requirements. Even if it was decided by law to make buildings earthquake safe, monitoring current seismic activity in Qatar won’t help with that.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I have heard that polar bears are somewhat aggressive and a danger to any nearby humans. At least 20 watch towers should be built, concentrated especially in the north part of the country of course, since that’s the direction of the closest polar region.

greg
greg
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Maybe he means that all buildings will fall… Quality…

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Drop, Cover, Hold!

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago

Probably has more to do with listening out for pesky neighbours tapping into their gas reserves with some angled boring. Agree with MMH, the worst thing to do in an earthquake is evacuate a tower.

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Warning to leave buildings !!!! The last time it happened, HSSE made me climb down 35 floors – walked like a Duck for 2 days thereafter.

Any bl@@dy earthquake warning, and I’m getting under my table!!!

Btw HSSE did admit later that evacuating the building is not a good idea in the event of an earthquake.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Blue

as someone who works on the 2nd floor with the only view being the wall of the building next door..finally, there is a reason to sit there staring at a wall, earthquake warning…
ah well, based on this research carrefour will be bringing in a batch of ski clothes due to the advance warning of a snow storm

BigDaddyDK
BigDaddyDK
6 years ago

In the event of an earthquake one will not need to worry about exiting a building. One will very quickly be on the ground anyway. Under rubble perhaps, but on the ground to be sure.

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