Residents in fear as 4 aftershocks hit Sabah in a day

KOTA KINABALU - Sabahans are being forced to live in fear of more tremors as four aftershocks hit them in one day on Tuesday, sending roofs crashing and employees scurrying out of their offices.

The worst tremor - measuring 4.3-magnitude - was at 5.33pm and was felt in the heart of Sabah's capital Kota Kinabalu, the first time the city has been hit in two weeks.

The number of tremors since the 6.0-magnitude earthquake on June 5 has now reached 90.

The quake on June 5 killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu, including 10 Singaporeans.

"Kota Kinabalu has been quiet for a while. Now the fears are back," said operating manager Ivy Stanislaus at popular radio station Suria FM, whose office is on the third floor of KK Times Square.

Workers there felt the floor swaying yesterday and rushed out of the building.

"It was bad on the third floor. I cannot imagine how it was for the others. This tremor was especially bad as it went on for quite a while," she said of the 5.33pm tremor.

Officials say Sabahans will have to brace themselves for tremors for several weeks as the quake- hit Mount Kinabalu area takes time to settle down.

On Tuesday, the first tremor came at 10.54am and was measured at 2.6 magnitude. It sent roofs crashing at schools in Ranau district near Malaysia's tallest mountain. The 5.33pm tremor was stronger and was felt not only in Ranau and Kota Belud, but also in Kota Kinabalu. These were followed by two more tremors with magnitudes of 2.6 and 3.0 around 6.30pm.

Geologist Felix Tongkul said more tremors were expected as the mountain continued to stabilise. It was likely that the mountain had reactivated dormant faultlines, he added.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'Residents in fear as 4 aftershocks hit Sabah in a day'. Print Edition | Subscribe