There was a strong 5.9-magnitude (Richter scale) earthquake that rocked the district of Sabah at 7:15am on Friday, 5 June 2015. While, it’s rare to learn that the country is prone to such natural disaster, here are 10 quick facts about the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that happened in Sabah.
1) Affected Location
The quake struck at a depth of 10km, with its epicenter located 19km from the town of Ranau and 54km from Kota Kinabalu in the district of Sabah. Tremors were felt in Ranau, Tambunan, Pedalaman, Tuaran, K.Kinabalu, K.Belud. The road between Kota Kinabalu and Ranau has not been affected by the quake. Click here for official Info.
2) Level of Severity
According to the Scale Table, there are on average 500 earthquakes of magnitude 5.5 to 6.1 every year and this magnitude of earthquake will cause slight damage to buildings, plaster cracks, bricks fall. The tremor, lasted for about 30 seconds.
There were minimal damages caused by the tremors to building nearby. However, there was several business premises in Ranau town reporting shattered windows.
4) Rescue Operations
It was reported that there are about 100 stranded climbers and rangers at the summit plateau of Mount Kinabalu. Sabah Parks is seeking assistance from the Royal Malaysian Air Force and private firms for helicopters to evacuate the group.
5) Climbing Activities at Mount Kinabalu Halted
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun Tweeted to confirmed that Sabah Parks has cancelled all climbing activities at Mt Kinabalu post-earthquake for safety purpose. In his Tweet, he also mentioned that the iconic Donkey’s Ear is completely damaged due to strong tremor this morning.
6) Expect Aftershocks
If secondary shock waves occur, take note that they are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures. Second waves can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
7) Is Malaysia Prone to Earthquakes?
Major earthquakes are rare in Malaysia, which lies just outside the Ring of Fire, the belt of seismic activity running around the Pacific basin that includes neighbors Indonesia and the Philippine. This incident is the third such of a similar magnitude since the 1960s.
8) What Should You Do During Earthquake?
Reduce your chance of getting hurt by:
(1) Dropping down onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
(2) Covering your head and neck with your arms and head under a steady table or get down near an interior wall.
(3) Holding on to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops.
9) What Causes The Earthquake to Occur?
According to some of the locals, as they believe the Mount Kinabalu to be sacred, the earthquake in Ranau may have been caused by the "Mountain Protectors" angered over tourists who stripped and urinated at Mount Kinabalu. This of course is not scientifically justified.
Scientifically, earthquakes are mostly caused by geological faults, but they can also be caused by landslides, nuclear testing, mine tests, and volcanic activity.
10) Typical Malaysian's Reaction After Earthquake
Reported in the news, people started to spread rumours that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has declared today a public holiday because of the moderate earthquake that hit Sabah this morning. The public has been warned not to spread rumours.
Let's extend our utmost support to wish our Friends at Sabah all well - we are here for you!