KOTA KINABALU: Five seismic stations will be installed on Mount Kinabalu by year end as part of a move to improve earthquake monitoring activities in the state.
These will be among the 15 new seismic stations to be installed at various parts of Sabah, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Tangau.
Among the locations were Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Kota Marudu on the west coast, Tenom district in the interior, and Lahad Datu, Beluran and Kinabatangan on the east coast.
There were already 13 stations being monitored by the Meteorological Services Department.
Tangau said the department’s operations centre in Kota Kinabalu was also being upgraded as part of the improvements.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah geologist Dr Felix Tongkul said the additional stations was “a drastic increase” that would provide a more accurate picture of seismic activities in Sabah.
He said this was necessary because there was still a possibility of major earthquakes occurring in Ranau and Lahad Datu where a magnitude 6.2 temblor struck in 1976.
“It is unlikely that there will be a major earthquake on Mount Kinabalu because much of the energy within the faultlines there were released in the magnitude 6.1 temblor a year ago,” he added.
Tongkul said the impact of last year’s earthquake would continue to be felt in coming decades, and that the mud floods at rivers along Mount Kinabalu’s foothills would be a regular occurrence.
He explained that the earthquake had dislodged boulders, soil and plants along the slopes, and these were being washed into the rivers.
“As a result, levels at Sungai Mesilou, Sungai Kadamaian and Sungai Penataran, that are key water sources for villagers, will continue to remain low,” he said.
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