2 schools damaged after 3.5-magnitude tremor in Sabah

2 schools damaged after 3.5-magnitude tremor in Sabah

RANAU, Malaysia - Two schools here have been damaged following a 3.5-magnitude tremor that shook the interior district at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu.

The ceiling of the library at SMK Agama Mohd Ali collapsed following the 11am tremor yesterday, while more serious damage occurred at SJK(C) Pai Wen, where large cracks were seen in the walls and beams of a school block housing four classrooms, a meeting room, a laboratory and the principal's office.

A portion of the school hall ceiling also fell, causing students and teachers to flee the classrooms.

SMK Agama Mohd Ali principal Jaimis Saiman said the students were assembled in an open space after the library ceiling collapsed.

"Luckily, there was nobody in the library and the walkway," she said, adding that two classroom ceilings had also collapsed after a 5.1-magnitude tremor on June 12.

The state Education Department has been informed of the incident.

Jaimis said students had been worried about attending school since the June 5 quake and attendance had dropped to 85 per cent when it reopened on June 15.

The tremors also caused anxiety as 10 pupils at SK Mesilau were seen crying in fear after their wooden block classroom on the foothills of Mount Kinabalu shook.

Ranau District Officer Faimin Kamin said the latest tremor was stronger than the series of aftershocks following the earthquake, and caused government staff and the public to run out of the district's secretariat building.

He said people were worried as the tremor was quite strong but after a while, the staff returned to their offices.

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