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Updates on the Saudi Arabian earthquakes

May 18, 2009, 10:07 AM

Al-Baidha volcanoAl-Qider volcano in Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Ahmed Al-Hussaini.

I've been searching for more information on the Saudi Arabian earthquake swarm reported last week. A number of Eruptions readers have also added some on-the-ground info as well.

UPDATE 12:30PM Pacific: Here is a brief update via Reuters India. They mention that five villages are being evacuated as a precaution. Beyond that, not much new information and it does feature this line that makes me shudder: "The region lies on a fault line, according to SGS, which declined to comment on current magma levels, but newspapers reported that in the past few days magma levels had risen to 4 km (2.5 miles) below the surface from 8 km." Magma levels? Magma is not like the water table. Ack! Again, I'm not sure how the SGS knows definitively that magma is rising.

I'll divide what we know into three groups:

The facts:

Lava flows in the area around Al-Qider Volcano, Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Ahmed Al-Hussaini.

The conjectures Rumors (Not to say these aren't true, but I have yet to find corroboration - thanks to the commenters who left this information)
  • Earthquakes are being felt as far away as the coastal city of Yanbu, Madinah (250 km distant) and Tabuk (400 km to the north).
  • Groaning noises, peculiar odors and wells drying up near the epicenters(?)
  • Fisherman has noticed a change in sea level(?)
  • increasing number of earthquakes in the area

And that is what we know. Nothing conclusive about the source of these earthquakes and not a lot of news out there in the MSM. If you find anything, feel free to post it here and we can all keep on eye on the events in western Saudi Arabia.

Al-Qider Al-Baidha Mountain in Saudi Arabia. Image courtesy of Ahmed Al-Hussaini.


Updates on the Saudi Arabia...

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