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UMS Ready to Offer Expertise in Facing Natural Disaster

vcWEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE – Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is ready to cooperate with the State Government in facing natural disasters including the earthquake that happened recently.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Mohd. Harun Abdullah said, the university is always ready to do a study and further monitoring, providing accurate information and sound advice to the people of Sabah.

“Immediately after the earthquake on 5 June this year, UMS through the Natural Disaster Research Centre, Faculty of Sciences and Natural Resources set up a committee to study and monitor this phenomena.

“Among the areas being studied include the science of earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, river water quality, the effects of earthquake on structures and psychological impact on the local population,” he said in a statement today.

He said, the establishment of an investigative committee was concurrent with the statement issued by the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Hj Aman who welcomed cooperation from all parties to address the disaster.

Datuk Harun disclosed that the initial findings of the study showed that the earthquake had caused damage to infrastructure and buildings, falling of rocks and soil and the flow of mud.

“The claim by some quarters on the incident that the river had become toxic was not true..the deaths of fish in the Kadamaian River was caused by muddy substance that were very high which stemmed from the falling of soil carried by running water during heavy rains,” he explained.

Touching on existing research specialists, he said all UMS researchers who are experts natural disasters are housed under one roof since the establishment of Centre for Natural Disasters Research in 2006.

“This centre has been doing research and monitoring of major natural disasters in Sabah such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, drought, coastal erosion and tsunamis.

“The Centre is also ready to cooperate with other universities and institutions outside of Sabah that are conducting research related to natural disasters especially on the ones that occurred in the state,” Datuk Harun added, whilst stating that the centre will hold a series of seminars on Earthquake Science and its effects, at the end of June.

“The seminar which aims to provide a more precise understanding and information on the latest findings to the public will be held at UMS Dewan Resital (Recital Hall) on 30 June 2015; 7 July at Kundasang; and 14 July in Kota Belud,” he added.

Datuk Harun said the seminars would also be held at other locations depending on current situations.

He also advised the public to stop spreading inaccurate information in social media sites.

“The situation worsens with the spread of inaccurate information by these parties who are irresponsible,” he concluded. SS (fl)

Media and Citra Division



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