Earthquakes are natural phenomenon that affect human beings and their properties. It is imperative for us to understand its causes and how to deal with it and the extent to which its risks can be minimized. All countries, whether experiencing high or low seismicities, are seeking to establish intensive seismic monitoring networks rather than waiting for the disaster to happen, especially after the earthquake that took place in Southeast Asia. This earthquake resulted to great losses in lives and properties, because of the big tsunami that occurred consequent to this major earthquake. Earthquakes are the most serious of these geohazards due to the devastations that they cause. The most severe type of earthquakes afflicting humans is tectonic earthquakes, which occur along the boundaries of the tectonic plates. The movement of magmas causes low to medium magnitude tremors that may also result to hazards, in addition to the damages that may be caused by volcanic flows and ejecta during volcanic eruptions.

The Seismicity Monitoring Network in Saudi Arabia

The study of earthquakes and volcanoes in Saudi Arabia is one of the main functions of the SGS. The Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 228 dated 13/8/1425H was passed to entrust seismic monitoring works to the SGS. The SGS is the host of the headquarter of the National Seismic Network (NSN). It is tasked to supervise the NSN, coordinate with other government stations and officially notify them about seismic events, and serve as an information base for all Saudi universities and research centers.

The SGS has equipped the NSN with state-of-the-art instruments to capture the smallest tremors occurring in seismically active areas. It also conducts continuous assessments of volcanic hazards in the Kingdom by carrying out volcanic studies, preparing seismic studies, reports, and maps for earthquake-prone areas, and contributing to the development of an emergency plan and updates on the Saudi Building Code to minimize losses, lives on and properties.