Research related to natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes, landslides, floods and coastal erosions) were carried out by UMS since it was established in 1995, through the Geology Program at the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources and in the Civil Engineering Program at the Faculty of Engineering. In March 2006, after the devastating 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) felt the critical need to focus research on these natural disasters, thus the formal establishment of the Natural Disaster Research Centre (NDRC). NDRC was mandated to act as the focal point for all researchers in UMS who carry out research related to natural disasters. NDRC which is located at the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources (FSNR) was put under the care of the faculty until April 2016, when UMS decided to include NDRC as one of its Centres of Excellence.
The main objective of NDRC is to generate new knowledge related to the mechanism, impact and mitigation of natural disaster towards the effective and holistic management of natural disaster.
The key functions of NDRC are:
- To carry out fundamental and applied research
- To provide consultation and services
- To produce scientific and popular publications
- To organise public awareness activities
- To establish a database on natural disaster
NDRC has identified at least six focus area of research:
- Prediction and mitigation of earthquake and tsunami
- Mechanism, impact and mitigation of slope stability and landslides
- Cause, impact, mitigation and early warning system for flood
- Mitigation of river bank and coastal erosion
- Prediction of drought occurrence and mitigation of forest fires
- Prediction of storms and typhoons