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Shift in tectonic plates triggered earthquake in Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY, June 13: State-owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) on Monday cited the movement of tectonic plates as the trigger of a magnitude 5 earthquake that struck the country earlier this month, ruling out that the tremor was man-made. Hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and gas has often been mentioned as a possible cause of the quake, said a KOC statement, underling that such a production method is seldom linked to seismic activity.

Citing a preliminary analysis by the company’s geological experts, it said the vast majority of tremors in the region, including the one that shook Kuwait in the wee hours of June 4, occur when tectonic plates rub up against each other.

In the wake of the tremor, social media was abuzz with theories over what might have been behind the earthquake, added the statement, while the use of hydraulic fracturing has been closely associated with seismic activity, a notion KOC moved quick to dispel due to the method’s rare nature. On June 4, Kuwait’s national seismic network recorded an earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale, with no serious damage or injuries reported.

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