RIYADH – The Civil Defense urged the remaining residents of Al-Eis in northwest of the country, to leave their homes for shelters after considerable seismic activities were measured Tuesday night. Warning sirens reportedly echoed in vulnerable neighboring areas of Al-Eis as safety instructions during disaster were announced on the state TV.
Two medium-size earthquakes hit a volcanic region in Al-Eis Tuesday, but there were no injuries and no damage to buildings, a seismological official said. A 5.4 earthquake hit the northwestern region in Al-Eis on Tuesday, just hours after a 4.8 tremor, said Ahmad Al-Attas, vice president of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS).
Reports of toxic gas emissions and change of the color of well waters have not been confirmed.
Authorities have evacuated almost the entire area of Al-Eis of the estimated 60,000 population in villages around Al-Eis volcano after a previous tremor on Sunday. The schools within the proximity of the volcano have been shut down and students were given access to schools of their choice across the Kingdom to continue their education, according to a Ministry of Education official.
There is a permanent committee headed by the Civil Defense for disaster and catastrophe emergency response, said Prince Turki Bin Nasser, chairman of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection, Tuesday. The presidency has three labs in Al-Eis to detect environmental changes and three new labs will be added Wednesday, he said.
The region is 240 km away from the holy city of Madina and 150 km away from the port of Yanbu on the Red Sea. It is not close to petrochemical facilities in Rabigh. Fears of an eruption in dormant volcanoes in Al-Eis sent panicky residents voluntarily fleeing to Madina and Yanbu last week. – Agencies