KUALA LUMPUR – The earthquake which occurred at the Kenyir Dam in Terengganu last Tuesday is no reason to quake in fear.
It is nothing new as there is every likelihood of its recurrence, says Associate Professor Mustaffa Kamal Shuib.
The lecturer in structural geology and tectonics at Universiti Malaya said the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia was stable and there was no cause for alarm although there were 28 earthquakes from 1984 to 1986.
Noting that the tremors did not lead to a major earthquake, he said that for 28 times, the area was hit by earthquakes measuring between 2.6 to 4.6 on the Richter scale.
“In 2010, there was another earthquake, followed by the recent one on Feb 23. Such earthquakes will probably recur but we cannot predict when that will happen,” Mustaffa Kamal told Bernama when contacted here today.
At 9.25pm on Tuesday, a weak earthquake measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale was detected in the Kenyir Dam, with tremors felt in Kuala Berang.
The epicentre of the quake was located at five degrees north and 102.9 east, which is 16km southwest of Kuala Berang.
The associate professor said water pressure in the dam which surpassed the 150-metre mark was the cause for earthquakes occurring in the man-made lake, spanning 260,000 hectares.
He proposed that dams nationwide be equipped with seismometers for early detection of earthquakes.
“The seismometer can measure the motion of the ground, including those of seismic waves generated by earthquakes and the record of these waves can be used by seismologists to map the size of the source of the quake,” he said.
The Malaysian Meteorology Department also reported that the quake was caused by pressure from water in the dam.
According to Tenaga Nasional Bhd which operates the Sultan Mahmud Hydroelectric Power Station in the Kenyir Dam, early investigations showed no physical effects from the quake. – BERNAMA