KUALA LUMPUR – A moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit Ranau in Sabah at 7.15 am today.
National Earthquake and Tsunami Centre, in a statement, said the tremor was felt in most places in Sabah, including Ranau, Tambun, Tuaran, Pedalaman, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud.
It said the quake’s epicentre was 16km north west of Ranau, Sabah.
The Meteorological Department is monitoring the situation, it added.
A spokesman at the centre, when contacted, said until press time, no more earthquake was reported.
Meanwhile, netizens have began uploading pictures of damages caused by the earthquake on the social media.
Meanwhile, a civil servant, Pilly Dewi Ros, who is in Kota Kinabalu to attend her sister’s wedding, said the tremor from the earthquake gave her a frightening experience.
“I had to hold to a table when it happened,” she added.
She said it occurred at 2.33 am and the tremor lasted for about five seconds.
During that time, people began running out of buildings, she added.
Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) sub-editor, Nor Hasliza Abdullah, who is on holiday in Kota Kinabalu with her family, also had a similar experience.
She said they were getting ready in their hotel room, which was on the first floor, for their visit to Kundasang when they felt the hotel sway.
“My daughter, who was in the bathroom, ran out screaming and when I looked out the window, saw people running out of buildings,” she said when contacted from here.
Nor Hasliza said she felt the hotel sway for about 10 to 15 seconds.
She said the family had decided to cancel their plans to Kundasang and also the trip to the islands to avoid any untoward incident.
In Ranau, several building structures, including business premises, were slightly damaged due to the earthquake.
Yunus Muhamad, a resident in Ranau, which is about 108 kilometres from here, when contacted , said the tremor from the quake caused a glass door of a bank to break and the walls of another bank and a supermarket to crack.
However, he said the incident did not affect the daily routine of residents in Ranau.
Banks and business premises are open and operate as usual today, he added.
Yunus, who is a bank employee, said he was in his orchard near his house when he saw the bridge across Sungai Liwagi sway.
The tremor was also felt in the west coast of Sabah, like Papar, Keningau, Tambunan, Tenom, Beaufort and Sipitang.
Meanwhle, Sabah Fire and Rescue Department public relations officer Mohd Affendy K Ramin said several business premises and government offices in Ranau were damaged and firemen had been instructed to monitor the situation to ensure no one was trapped in the buildings.
“The State Fire Director has instructed fire stations in all affected districts to monitor the situation,” he added.
However, in TAWAU, there was no report of a tremor and daily activities went on as usual.
Residents who were met said they did not feel any tremor.
Tawau Fire and Rescue station chief Mohd Razali Awang Ahmad, when contacted, said the station did not receive any emergency call on the earthquake.
Meanwhile, Kunak district police chief Supt Ad Rashid Abdullah also said the police had not received report of any tremor due to the earthquake.
A policeman on duty in Semporna, Mohd Yuzed Salleh said he also did not feel the tremor. – BERNAMA