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UAE residents felt not-so-strong aftershocks of earthquake

Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Kelly Clarke Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Nov. 14--SHARJAH -- Residents in the UAE have described seeing doors shaking and clothes falling from hangers, following a deadly 7.3 magnitude earthquake, which struck the Iran-Iraq border on Sunday night.

The major earthquake hit Iran the hardest and has so far left more than 330 people dead, with dozens still trapped under rubble. But tremors were felt as far as the UAE following the deadly natural disaster.

"I was lying on my bed at about 10pm and the room door suddenly started shaking. I had no idea what was happening," Murtaza Siroz told Khaleej Times.

Living in an 8th floor apartment in Sharjah, Siroz said the whole episode only lasted about three seconds, and at first he thought he was just imagining it.

"At first I thought I was having a dizzy spell, but then the clothes on the hangers started moving and the light on the ceiling too. That's when I realised it was most likely a tremor."

For fellow Sharjah resident Dimple Dinesh, it all happened very quickly.

"I was in my apartment when it happened. I'm on the third floor and I was on my bed with my mum. I felt my bed shaking a little bit but my mother said she couldn't feel anything, so I just brushed it off."

It was only when Dinesh checked the news that she realised what she actually felt was the aftershock tremors of the earthquake that struck Iran. "I never felt anything like that before. It wasn't so strong, but it was enough to feel it for a few seconds."

Living on the 47th floor of a Business Bay based apartment in Dubai, Vinita Sheth said at first her family thought it may have been a ghost.

"The light shades, chandeliers, curtains, basically everything that was dangling, just started shaking and swaying. We've just moved into the apartment recently, so one family member joked saying maybe the place was haunted," she told Khaleej Times.

Then they checked the AC thinking maybe the air was pumping out too hard and causing the chandelier to move, but even that was switched off. "That's when we concluded it was most likely a tremor. We checked Facebook and saw that family members in Bahrain were saying they felt tremors too, so we checked the news and heard of the quake."

Meanwhile, a top official at the Dubai Municipality on Monday clarified that there was no impact of Sunday's quake on the buildings in Dubai and no alerts were issued either for investigation or for evacuation.

"With the epicentre of the earthquake being 1,378km away from the Emirate of Dubai, the quake was felt only by high-altitude residents and tall towers where some individuals felt a slight vibration that had no effect on individuals and buildings," said Mohammed Mashroom, director of survey department at the municipality.

He said that the municipality has recently launched four smart systems to monitor the impact of earthquakes on the towers and also supported these systems with a smart application that monitors the vulnerability of these towers to earthquakes and we also support the emergency and evacuation plans of these structures.

kelly@khaleejtimes.com

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