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Earthquake, Lahad Datu Residents Advised Not to Panic

THURSDAY, 10 MARCH – A series of low magnitude earthquakes that hit Darvel Bay near Lahad Datu town, Sabah occurred on 16 February, 1 March and 4 March 2016 were seen as a natural phenomenon of the release of the earth’s internal energy.

The incident that happened suddenly had become viral on social media with the forecast that there would be a bigger earthquake in the district, perhaps maybe comparable to or stronger than the earthquakes that occurred on 5 June 2015 at Mount Kinabalu.

With a string of information that had gone viral, it created anxieties among the locals living in Lahad Datu and its nearby districts.

According to the Head of the Disaster Research Centre (PKBA), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Professor Dr. Kawi Bidin; from a scientific research view, all earthquake records and facts, technology and experts could not accurately predict the occurrence of an earthquake, its magnitude nor its location and time.

“This happens due to movements under the earth that can lead to the occurrence of an earthquake.  It is a process that is quite complex and difficult to understand,” he told reporters.

“So far, the early signs of an earthquake is yet to be detected.  Scientists can only make assumptions to the occurrence of an earthquake based on the history of earthquakes that had occurred in that region,” he further added.

He therefore advised the public not to panic and make further speculations that a significant earthquake would hit Lahad Datu and its surrounding areas.

“What needs to be done is for all parties concerned to be especially vigilant and to get the right information from the relevant government agencies that are involved in monitoring the earthquake situation throughout the state,” he advised.

“Hence, PKBA together with other government agencies are willing to share their expert advise through education and awareness seminars on the dangers of the earthquakes in Sabah, as the first step,” he concluded. CD (fl)


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