Sunday, April 2, 2017

Lahad Datu getting ready for an earthquake

KOTA KINABALU: Geologists are uncertain whether a series of tremors in Sabah’s east coast lately could be a sign of an impending earthquake that experts have been anticipating to occur in Lahad Datu district.
The tremors that hit the east coast district on March 26 and 29 could be such indications, Universiti Malaysia Sabah geologist Dr Felix Tongkul said.
However, he said the tremors could also be a way for the built-up seismic energy to be released in smaller doses, thus averting a larger temblor.
“Whatever it is, we need to be prepared for anything,” Dr Felix said.
According to the Malaysian Meteorological Services Depart­ment, the March 26 tremor measured 4.2 on the Richter scale while the other temblor three days later registered 3.4.
Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail has warned authorities to be prepared for a possible earthquake in Lahad Datu.
She said that the last major earthquake that occurred in Lahad Datu happened in 1976 with a magnitude of 5.8, resulting in a number of buildings in the town being damaged.
The epicentre of that earthquake 41 years ago was several kilometres south of downtown Lahad Datu.

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