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Sabah records an increase in quakes: Ewon

Published on: Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tawau: Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin said the Meteorological Department was proposing to extend the Malaysian National Tsunami Early Warning System (MNTEWS) to Sabah this year.

He said the extension involved connecting the seismic station network to Kota Belud and Ranau with tsunami sirens located at Semporna, Ranau and Tambunan.

"The seismic system network needs to be extended to Sabah to improve earthquake and tsunami detection capability as there were 37 incidents of earthquakes recorded last year, in which five were felt by local residents," he noted.

He said the total earthquakes in Sabah with low and average magnitude between 2011 and 2013 showed an increase, with 10 reported in 2011, two each in Ranau and Kundasang, and one each in Sebuyau, Kinabatangan, Tambunan, Tongod, Lahad Datu and Tawau.

In 2012, there were 20 earthquakes recorded whereby eight of them were in Kunak, three in Kinabatangan, two in Keningau and Beluran, respectively, and one in Semporna, Lahad Datu, Kota Marudu, Kudat and Tambunan.

However, in 2013, there were 29 earthquakes recorded with 12 in Ranau, nine in Kudat, two in Beluran, Tambunan and Tawau and one in Kota Marudu and Kunak.

He was speaking to reporters after the launch of a public awareness programme on earthquake, tsunami and extreme weather, as well as the 1MET line, here, Saturday.

The MNTEWS was set up in 2005 to provide effective early tsunami warning to alert residents living near coastal areas.

Ewon also said a research on Remote Sensing and Field Study in Kundasang, Lahad Datu and Bukit Tinggi was being done by University Malaysia Sabah to determine active locations in the State.

He said the research was expected to be completed by end of this year.

On the programme, he said it was aimed at providing awareness to the people, especially in this district, on natural disasters and the emergency response action in time of such incidents.