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Abu Dhabi shells out $25m in quake study

Project on seismic risk monitoring to plan for preventative measures

Though the UAE is low risk in terms of quakes, the municipality wants a contingency plan in place. Image: Shutterstock.
Though the UAE is low risk in terms of quakes, the municipality wants a contingency plan in place. Image: Shutterstock.

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A $25m project has been launched by Abu Dhabi Municipality to study the potential earthquake risk and its effect on structures and landscapes in the emirate.

The seismic risk monitoring and management project is the first of its kind in the region and will test how critical buildings such as hospitals are affected by distant quakes. It will then focus on structures in neighbouring emirates.

Yousuf Abdul Rahman Al Marzouqi, head of the spatial data division at the municipality, said, in a report carried by Gulf News, “The UAE is typically an earthquake-safe zone, but the uniqueness of our architectural structures and the need to keep residents safe demands that we understand how tremors from distant quakes impact built structures here."

The study, which will be conducted in conjunction with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology, is expected to run over two years.

Though the UAE’s cities and towns are over 200km away from major fault lines in Iran, Al Marzouqi explained the study was essential to formulate plans for response teams including civil defence and the police to prevent unnecessary panic in case of a quake.

“The findings of the study will be used to develop the emirate's building codes even further, despite the fact that the UAE's buildings are already very safely designed," he added.

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