Earthquake reported off Jeddah coasts.

An earthquake hit the middle of the Red Sea on Tuesday, 91 km from Jeddah, the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) announced.“This (Tuesday) morning, there was a tremor in the middle of the Red Sea, 91 km from Jeddah, 3 degrees on the Richter scale, and the quake is at a depth of 20.88 km,” a tweet from its official account said.

SGS official spokesman Tariq Aba Al-Khalil said the quake was not felt in any of the coastal cities near the earthquake epicenter because of its weakness.He reassured citizens and residents that the seismic situation is stable in the region.

A few years back a study by a team of Saudi and US scientists published in Nature Geoscience and Nature warned that western regions of Saudi Arabia may be at risk of an unusual type of earthquake caused by failed volcanic eruptions.The team analyzed some of the thousands of mini-earthquakes that hit the region in spring 2009, after a volcano eruption failed but still forced magma through rock up to around two kilometers below the surfaces, causing earthquakes.

Between April and June 2009, more than 30,000 earthquakes caused by a failed volcano eruption struck an area of northwest Saudi Arabia that was considered seismically inactive.The study’s Saudi author, Hani Zahran, director of the National Centre for Earthquakes and Volcanoes at the Saudi Geological Survey, in Jeddah, told SciDev.Net that seismic activity in the region is now weak and that a new earthquake is unlikely.

Zahran said the Saudi authorities have developed precautionary measures to cope with future earthquakes.“The Geological Survey has established a seismic monitoring system,” he said, “and we are collecting all available data to have a better understanding of the nature of this activity and try to find out its future behavior.”



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