TAWAU: Firemen took to the streets of this city early today after residents reported tremors which were later verified to be from an earthquake that had struck Kalimantan in Indonesia.
The tremors of the 6.2-magnitude earthquake, which occurred at 2.47am, were also felt in several other east coast districts, such as Kunak, Semporna and Lahad Datu, said Tawau Fire and Rescue Department chief Mohd Razali Ag Ahmad.
The portal of the Malaysian Meteorological Department reported that the epicentre of the quake was 33km north of Tarakan, Kalimantan, and 96km southwest of Tawau.
Mohd Razali said the department deployed firemen to check on buildings in the city.
Residents of the Sri Apas People’s Housing Scheme in Batu 8, Jalan Apas, reported a crack which on inspection was found to be just the cement plaster peeling off, he said.
“Strong tremors were felt at the firemen’s quarters. We sounded the siren and advised all residents to vacate their units,” he said.
A housewife who declined to be identified said she was just falling asleep when the tremors struck.
“We felt like being in a boat lashed by the waves. Things in the bedroom, such as the cupboard and clothes hung up, began to shake,” she said.
Sabah Islamic Affairs Department officer in Semporna, Nurdin Ajirul, said he was rudely awakened from sleep by the shaking of his house.
“I thought one of my children had knocked onto the bedroom door. I was shocked to hear the rattling of the cups and saucers in the cupboard. My children became afraid,” he said.
Mukhtar Alwi, who was visiting his family members in Sungai Pancang (Pulau Sebatik) Indonesia, said the people in the village also felt the tremors.
“We felt like being in a boat hit by waves. However, none of our houses were damaged,” he said. – BERNAMA