New earthquake recorded near Ranau

New earthquake recorded near Ranau
The ceiling of a school's library collapsed following a weak earthquake of magnitude 3.5 earlier on Jun 23.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Ranau and its surrounding areas were hit by three more minor earthquakes Tuesday evening, bringing the total to four in a single day.

The Malaysian Meteorology Department said an earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded at 5.33pm Tuesday near Ranau.

"A weak earthquake has occurred at 5:33pm with a magnitude 4.3 and depth 10km at Ranau, Sabah, 19km Northwest of Ranau. Tremors were felt in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Belud, Ranau & Kundasang," said the Department in a brief statement on its Facebook page.

These were followed by two more tremors with magnitudes of 2.6 and 3.0 at 6.26pm and 6.39pm respectively.

Geologist Prof Felix Tongkul said more such tremors would occur as the mountain continues to stabilise.

He said the mountain was also causing slips in nearby fault lines that are triggering the tremors.

Tongkul said it was likely that the mountain had reactivated dormant faultlines, and advised the public to expect more tremors.

This follows an incident on Tuesday morning where 500 students at a secondary school in Ranau escaped unscathed when the ceiling of the school's library collapsed following a weak magnitude 3.5 earthquake.

The centre was empty when the ceiling came crashing down at about 11am at the SMK Agama Mohd Ali.

Teachers immediately ordered the students to temporarily evacuate from their classrooms in the three-storey blocks of the school for about half an hour.

The audiovisual room was just adjacent to the school library where the ceiling had also collapsed during the June 5 earthquake, which also hit the Ranau area and claimed 18 lives.

The earthquake had also disrupted the water supply in Ranau after tonnes of debris washed down by mudslides from the slopes of the earthquake hit Mount Kinabalu, choking the intake point at the Sungai Liwagu last week.

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