Tremors felt across Singapore after 6.2-magnitude quake rattles Indonesia

A man checks the damage of the destroyed Raya Kajai mosque after an earthquake in Kecamatan Talamau on Sumatra Island, Indonesia, on Feb 25, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS/ANTARA FOTO

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) received multiple calls from the public reporting tremors on Friday morning (Feb 25) but no injuries were reported.

The SCDF advised the public to keep calm and listed precautions people should take if a similar event occurs in future, such as staying away from objects that may fall and checking for any cracks in the structure of buildings they are in.

Tremors were felt in several locations in Singapore at about 9.40am on Friday after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia.

Residents in housing estates such as Bedok, Hougang, Lavender, Punggol and Sengkang, as well as people in the Central Business District, reported seeing the furniture and fixtures in their house "shaking" for several minutes.

Housewife Lynn Chua, 44, was having breakfast in her Hougang flat on the 10th floor when her dining table started shaking at around 9.45am. She felt giddy and quickly grabbed the sides of her table.

Madam Chua told The Straits Times: "I felt two rounds of tremors, which both lasted about five seconds. This all happened within a minute.

"My husband, who also felt the tremors, later checked and told me that an earthquake had occurred."

Singapore Polytechnic student Rachel Hungee, 19, was sitting an exam when she felt the floor shake. Ms Hungee said: "I thought it was just me hallucinating but the floor shook again afterwards.

"I didn't know I was experiencing an earthquake until I saw the news after my exam."

The Singapore police said at about 5.22pm on Friday that engineers from the Housing Board and the Building and Construction Authority completed an inspection on the structural safety of 42 buildings affected by the tremors caused by the earthquake in Northern Sumatra. 

The police added that engineers also confirmed that the structural integrity of all the buildings has not been affected by the tremors. 

"A strong earthquake occurred this morning in Sumatra on a known active fault about 400km away called the Sumatran fault," said Assistant Professor Judith Hubbard from Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS). 

Dr Kyle Bradley, a principal investigator at EOS, said: "Most of the time, the shaking from Sumatran earthquakes is not strong enough for people in Singapore to feel it.

"Because today's event was strong enough and close enough to Singapore, there are many reports of people who felt this earthquake."

Professor Pan Tso-Chien, from the NTU School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said: "Buildings of different heights in Singapore respond to a long-distance Sumatran earthquake differently. Taller buildings located on softer ground may feel relatively larger sways.

"However, current requirements for the design of buildings in Singapore have already incorporated the effects of tremors originating from the long-distance Sumatran earthquakes."

Dr Bradley said the fault is still active and has generated many earthquakes in the past that were felt in Singapore.

He said: "This event did not cause any damage in Singapore but it is possible for earthquakes on the Sumatran fault to cause stronger shaking in Singapore."

Prof Hubbard added: "Today's event is a reminder that Singapore can feel earthquakes, so people should be prepared for this hazard."

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