Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has given his assurance that the Government is ready to provide any assistance needed in the wake of Thursday’s nights 5.2-magnitude earthquake in Ranau.
In a tweet on Friday (March 9), he said that he hoped that people in the affected area are taking precautions to stay safe and that he had been informed that there were no casualties.
Terima berita gempa bumi di Ranau, saya dimaklumkan setakat ini tiada laporan kecederaan. Saya harap semua di kawasan terkesan ambil langkah berjaga-jaga, Kerajaan akan pastikan bantuan sentiasa tersedia.
— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) March 9, 2018
The quake’s epicentre was at depth of about 5km at an area 16km north of the mountain between Ranau and Kota Marudu, which led to the evacuation of 239 people – including 130 climbers – from Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, reported The Star.
Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Masidi Manjun tweeted that he has ordered a temporary suspension of all climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu and called for all climbers and tour guides to return the park’s headquarters “immediately”.
#5.0 Tremor. Acting on the advice of the Sabah Director of Parks & in the interest of safety of everyone, I have ordered a temporary suspension of all climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu. All climbers & tour guides to return to Park Headquarters immediately.
— Masidi Manjun (@MasidiM) March 8, 2018
A geologist told Free Malaysia Today that the earthquake was a new quake and not an aftershock of the one in 2015 which killed 18 people and left many others injured.
University Malaysia Sabah professor Felix Tongkul said there were no more aftershocks of the June 5, 2015 quake and that no tremors had been recorded for a long time.
More than 100 aftershocks were reportedly recorded in the year following that quake, prompting Professor Tongkul to remark: “There could be aftershocks after last night’s quake but we hope it will not be a long series of earthquakes.”
The latest quake is reportedly the strongest after the 2015 quake which lasted about 30 seconds.