Published on: Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Tambisan Island, off Lahad Datu, was abuzz Tuesday with the strange phenomena of thousands of Tamban fish jumping onto land or being washed up to its shores on the eve of Christmas, Tuesday.
Many villagers took advantage of the situation by scooping up the fish with their baskets, some with their bare hands. It was not known how long it lasted but it was learnt that this was the first time such an incident had occurred in the area.
The happening also went viral on Facebook and Twitter.
Murmurs online of a possible tsunami spread among netizens after a two and a half minute video was uploaded to YouTube of what appears to be schools of fish splashing around in shallow waters by the beach and launching themselves out onto land.
Similarly, hundreds of miles away, a matured crocodile believed about several feet long was seen on the coastal area of Kg Pimping, Membakut, the same day.
A resident managed to take a photo of the reptile which was said to have been washed ashore before crawling back into the water. Crocodiles are usually found along rivers.
It was not known whether the phenomena was caused by the earthquake reported by the Meteorological Department, measuring 5.7 on the Ritcher scale which hit south off Mariana Islands, in the Philippines at about 5.12pm on Monday.
It is located some 2,842Km from the northeast of Kinabatangan, on the East Coast of Sabah. The Meteorological Department said no seismic activity has been recorded off the coast.
Its Director-General Che Gayah Ismail said though such an incident was usually seen as a sign of a possible tsunami, the department said no red flags have been raised in its detection centres there.
However, Che Gayah was puzzled at what could have caused the strange occurrence.
"From our data, this has actually happened before in Lahad Datu a couple of years ago. I do not know what could be causing this off hand, we will have to study more than just the online video," she said.