There should be no panic from recent frequent earthquakes in Egypt: NRIAG

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 11 Jan 2022

Seismology experts at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics “NRIAG” said on Tuesday there should be no panic from the frequent earthquakes in the past few months in Egypt.

File Photo: Earthquake measurement (Photo: Reuters)

Earlier in the day, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Eastern Mediterranean and was felt by citizens in some parts of Egypt, including Cairo.

In an online press conference via Facebook and Zoom, Researcher of Seismology at NRIAG Amr Sharkawy said that the Eastern Mediterranean is an active seismological area with an increasing activity of earthquakes.

"Yet, the situation is safe and the public should not be worried," he said, adding that there was no impact on the buildings in Egypt's northern coast as the quakes recorded so far have weak impact.

Dr Hisham Eid, an NRIAG expert, denied at the press conference that Egypt has entered the seismic belt, pointing out that Egypt is located between two active seismological areas in East Mediterranean and East Africa rift.

He also clarified that oil and gas drilling in areas in the sea can result in small earthquakes. However, he said, in a very active seismological area like East Mediterranean drilling activities are not a reason behind earthquakes.

According to the ENSN, the quake was registered around 415 kilometres away from Damietta, located about 200 kilometres north of Cairo, at 3:07 am local time. 

During the conference, head of NRIAG Dr Gad El-Kady revealed that after the earthquake, the Egyptian National Seismic Network (ENSN) recorded a couple of aftershocks.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said that the earthquake, which it registered as magnitude 6.4, hit the Cyprus region where its epicentre was. The quake was at a depth of 2 km (1.24 miles), according to the European centre. 

Professor of Seismology at Aristotle, University of Thessaloniki in Greece Papadimitriou Eleftheria, said at the conference there was not enough studies on Tuesday’s earthquake in Greece but by next week, scientists and experts will have a clear view.

Eleftheria added that the epicentre area of the earthquake witnessed other earthquakes in the past, and thus Tuesday's quake was not a surprise.

The Greek expert stated that it was unclear for them in Greece how the quake was felt as far as in Cairo in the South, adding that they were ready to cooperate with their colleagues in Cairo to know the reasons.

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