KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia The Sabah state Weather and Earthquake Operations Centre is now capable of detecting earthquakes with a magnitude of as low as 1.0 on the Richter Scale after improvements were made in efforts to track down incidents of earthquake more efficiently.

Science, Technology and Innovations Minister (MOSTI) Wilfred Madius Tangau said another 15 seismic stations had been added to the data and information gathering component centre recently involving a cost of RM12.1 million.

“The addition of these stations had increased the overall seismic stations in Sabah to 28,he said during Ministers’ Question Time at the sitting of the Dewan Rakyat, today.

He was replying to a question from Jumat Idris (BN-Sepanggar) who wanted to know the initiative carried out by the government in improving the earthquake and tsunami tracking system in Sabah.

Three earthquakes were recorded in Ranau, Sabah within a period of one week this month with the highest magnitude recorded at 5.2 on the Richter scale on March 8, followed by 3.1 on the Richter scale one day later and on March 11.

Madius said that following the earthquake in Ranau, MOSTI had also improved its standard operating procedure (SOP), monitoring and issuing of earthquake information and tsunami alert.

He said it involved the disaster action team which would be activated when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 and above occurred within a radius of 10 kilometres from the centre of Mount Kinabalu compared with 5.5 on the Richter scale earlier.

The improvement also involved the need for the head of the disaster action team to contact the control centre of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), the Malaysian Control Centre (MMC) Bukit Aman, the Civil Defence Force and the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.

Madius said the information received would be channelled to the various agencies concerned such as the Health Ministry, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Red Crescent Society.

Source: NAM News Network