Malaysia DPM experiences aftershocks first hand

Malaysia DPM experiences aftershocks first hand
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (C) waits after being evacuated following an aftershock while at the Liwagu Restaurant for a press conference, near Mount Kinabalu in Kundasang, a town in the district of Ranau on June 7, 2015. Government authorities said on June 7 that five Singapore primary school students and one teacher were among 16 people so far confirmed killed by the earthquake that rocked Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu on June 5.

KUNDASANG: It was a day of jitters for people living in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu as a series of aftershocks continued to jolt them.

The minor quakes even shook up Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and several VIPs on the grounds of Kinabalu Park here yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister was hastily evacuated from Kinabalu Park at 1.35pm when the Liwagu building of the headquarters shook from an aftershock.

Muhyiddin was with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and other state and federal ministers at a briefing when they were rattled.

Bodyguards quickly moved Muhyiddin from the double-storey concrete building along with Musa, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang.

He later told the media that the experience was a taste of what many folk in Kundasang, Ranau and other parts of Sabah had been going through since the earthquake.

"I felt the tremors too," he said, adding that the earthquake was a signal for changes, including having quakeproof buildings built in seismologically active areas such as Kundasang and Ranau.

A total of 38 aftershocks have been recorded since Friday, frightening not only those at the foothills but also in Kota Kinabalu, where questions have been raised about the safety of high-rise buildings.

As of last night, villagers in Ranau and Kundasang were still bracing for more aftershocks.

"I have packed all my important documents and I have an emergency pack with water and instant noodles in case a bigger one happens," said one villager, adding that his family had not slept well since Friday.

Kundasang homestay owner Bensin Dani said this was the first time in 28 years that people in Sabah had experienced a severe earthquake and constant tremors from the aftershocks.

"We just don't know how the earthquake and tremors are going to affect us," he added.

In Kota Kinabalu, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong said the state government would look into new building codes in the wake of the earthquake.

"We have to be prepared in case something like this happens again," he said.

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