51 days on, tremor rocks Sabah

51 days on, tremor rocks Sabah
PHOTO: Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU - Fifty-one days after the June 5 Mount Kinabalu earthquake, aftershocks are still being felt.

According to the Meteorological Department, the latest was a 4.4-magnitude aftershock 8km northwest of Ranau at 12.10am yesterday.

The tremors were felt not only by residents in Kundasang and Ranau but also here and neighbouring Penampang and Tuaran districts.

However, the tremor lasting a few seconds did not cause any new damage or panic as many residents, including those in high rise apartments, said they were getting used to it.

Ranau district officer Faimin Kamin said there were no reports of damage but officials were monitoring the situation.

"I think people are getting used to the tremors, though the latest one is considered quite strong," he said.

Faimin said their concern was to restore water supply to all the people in Ranau, especially in the interiors of Kundasang and Ulu Sugut where people are living without clean water following mudfloods and pipes damaged in the aftermath of the quake.

"River water is still murky and villagers depending on such water sources are not able to use the water," he said, adding that efforts were underway to provide water supply to those affected.

Jacky Mait of Kundasang said though they were getting used to the aftershocks, the latest one still raised concern among his family.

A resident in Penampang said the latest tremor revived concern and fears as it had been quite calm recently.

"I got used to the aftershocks after June 5, but just when I thought things have returned to normal, we are hit by another tremor," said housewife Marcella Mijoh.

Another resident had even thought of moving out of her apartment after the latest incident.

"I think I better stop living in apartments.

"It felt like I was in a boat," said Sheila Wong, a resident at a condominium in Penampang, who has felt about a dozen of the more than 100 tremors following the 6.0 Richter scale earthquake that killed 18 people.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun had said that they were hoping to reopen Mount Kinabalu to climbers by September.

He said restoration works on the climbing trails near the summit were being carried out with the aid of mountaineering experts.

Sabah Parks chairman Datuk Tengku Adlin Tengku Mahamood said though the trail up to Laban Rata on Mount Kinabalu had been repaired, their concern was boulders that were blocking the way could fall on climbers if another big quake were to hit.

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