A well-known Indian astrology expert has claimed that Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines are among the countries likely to be hit by natural disasters this year.
This should come as a surprise to many as Singapore is well-shielded from natural calamities like earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis.
Regarded as a Vasthu Sastra or Indian astrology expert, Dr T Selva gave his predictions in an article published in the New Sarawak Tribune on Feb 7.
Another two countries that are expected to face natural disasters are Australia and New Zealand, he said.
The best-selling Malaysian author of books on Indian geomancy and TV personality also foresees "aggression" and terrorism erupting especially in several countries located near the equator and southern hemisphere.
Singapore is well-known worldwide as one of few places on earth with a low risk for destructive natural disasters.
Following the rare but devastating earthquake that hit Sabah and claimed casualties including Singapore students and teachers climbing Mount Kinabalu last year, veteran geologist Kerry Sieh told The Straits Times that the chances of a serious quake occuring in Singapore remain "extremely low' because the nearest fault line is 300km away in eastern Sumatra in Indonesia.
Weak tremors are felt occasionally in Singapore when there are distant quakes, he said. However, there is no indication that the plate Singapore is sitting on is "mildly cracking", unlike in Sabah where the fault line had shifted beneath the surface, he added.
But some experts have pointed out that the country is still exposed to other effects of natural disasters or extreme weather changes in neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. For instance, Singaporeans have to pay higher prices for fresh produce from places hit by droughts, floods or cold spells.
S'pore is world's second safest city
Natural disasters exact huge toll on Asia