Kuwait, Aug 19: A mild earthquake hit Kuwait Saturday morning at 1:46 am, with a magnitude of 4.3 on the Richter scale. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) reported that the quake's epicenter was in the southern Manageesh area at a depth of 7.3 km.
The seismic waves resulting from the shock took three seconds to reach Rudaifa Center, the closest national seismic center to the quake's epicenter," said Dr Nader Al-Awadhi, director of KISR in a statement.
"Residents in different areas of the country sensed the quake. Tremors lasted 90 seconds but were felt for 30 seconds only," he added. The center also recorded two aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 and 2.0 in the same area of the first earthquake.
The moderate quake was not felt by many of Kuwait's residents who were fast asleep at the time, though a few others found it quite alarming. "I heard rattling noises, like moving iron bars. I am living on the fourth floor, so I felt the quake shaking the building," said Darwish, a resident of Farwaniya.
"The chandelier was swinging and my youngest daughter was scared and started crying," he added. "Our swivel chairs and computers were shaking," said Abdul Qadir Sultan, a technician at MTC. He was workingthe night shift on the fourth floor of the MTC building in Shuwaikh.
Hanaa, who lives on the third floor of an apartment building in Salmiya also felt strong tremors. "The closet handle kept on moving and banging to the wooden door. Me and my sister felt the quake for less than a minute but my father who was watching TV in the next room didn't feel a thing," she said.
Residents in other areas felt the quake though they were fast asleep. "The tremors woke me up but I thought that I was hallucinating so I went back to sleep," said Hussein, who resides in Mubarak Al-Kabeer. "So that what it was. I was sleeping and I felt the bed shaking but didn't know what it was," said a resident of Salmiya who was surprised to hear that there was an earthquake recorded in the wee hours of the morning. Another resident of Salmiya felt the quake shaking his building "badly".
"I was sleeping but I felt the shake. Everything was badly shaking," said Louie, who lives in a 20-year-old building in Salmiya.
Residents of Rigga also sensed the short quake. "I was sleeping but felt the room shake. I felt I was moving sideways in my bed and thought I was dreaming. Now I know it's an earthquake," said Abdullah, who lives in the second floor in Rigga with his family. "My mother also felt the shake," he added.
According to astronomer Adel Al-Saadoun of Fintas Observatory Center, the quake's epicenter was in Saudi Arabian territory, but close to the borders with Kuwait. In the past 15 years, Kuwait has been hit by four quakes, making yesterday's the fifth one, said Al-Saadoun. However, none of those quakes were strong. No casualties or damage had been reported.
A Daijiworld reader from Kuwait adds:
"I could feel my bed was swinging in my flat on the 5th foor. I went near the windows without knowing what is was. It was middle of the night and some labourers doing some work on the road. I thought the impact of digging with heavy machinery has effected the building. I could not sleep after that. I felt the quake experience three times sometime between 1.15 to 3 am. On Saturday, when we went to the office, we came to know that it was a mild earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, somewhere between Kuwait and Saudi border. Many people known to us had similar experience."