800 JB condo residents evacuated after Sumatra quake

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 Mar 2016

Some of the residents standing outside their condo after the tremors.

JOHOR BARU: Residents at a condominium in Taman Bukit Aliff, Tampoi here felt tremors lasting for about two hours after a 7.9 magnitude quake struck west Sumatra.

At least 800 residents of the two blocks of condominiums were evacuated after the tremors were felt at about 9.15pm on Wednesday.

Wheelchair-bound Hasnah Abdul Hamid, 75, of Kondoninium Dwi Mahkota, said she was about to wash up and prepare for Isyak prayers when she felt the bathroom spinning.

"I quickly came out of the bathroom and found my son complaining of dizziness.

"My grandson, who stays on the same floor (12th floor) called me and asked whether I felt the tremors. I quickly changed my clothes and the 10 of us headed downstairs," she said on Wednesday night.

Hasnah, a great grandmother of seven, who has a heart condition, said she kept saying her prayers as they evacuated the building.

Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said she was watching a Korean drama series on the television when she felt the tremors at around 9pm.

"I was drifting in and out of sleep and I thought I had imagined the tremors.

"Not long after, the condominium security guard rang my doorbell asking me to go downstairs," she said as she rubbed ointment on her head due to the dizziness.

Worried that more tremors would follow, she said she would be staying at her daughter's house in Setia Tropika.

Johor Baru Fire and Rescue Department station chief Ibrahim Omar said a resident on the 11th floor made a call to inform of the tremors at 9.03pm.

"We sent 10 firemen to the location and helped to evacuate at least 800 residents safely from 360 units at the two condominium blocks.

Firemen conducted checks on the building and found the area safe for the residents to return at 11.25pm.

Ibrahim said policemen were also at the scene to direct the residents to assemble at an empty area.

"We are still unable to establish if the tremors were caused by the Sumatra earthquake that struck earlier," he added.

Indonesia issued a tsunami warning late Wednesday, but called it off later, after a massive and shallow 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra at 12.49pm GMT (8.49pm Malaysian Time), an area hit badly by the 2004 Indian Ocean quake and tsunami.

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Earthquake , Sumatra , Tsunami warning , 7 9


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