Of myth and fiction: MetMalaysia shares misconception about earthquakes
SHAH ALAM - Malaysia’s proximity to neighbouring countries located along the Pacific Ring of Fire have led to its population being exposed to earthquakes, either through personal experience or knowledge.
However, there are many beliefs and fiction about earthquakes.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) shares some facts and myths that come along with it.
According to MetMalaysia, among the most important fact that Malaysians need to know is that 90 per cent of earthquakes occurred along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Neighbouring countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia are among the countries located along the ring.
Other countries included New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the US, Chile, Canada, Guatemala, Russia, Peru and Mexico.
MetMalaysia also revealed that 80 per cent of tsunami incidents occurred from earthquakes. The closest example was when Malaysia experience its worst tsunami incident on December 26, 2004 caused by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 to 9.3 on the Richter scale on the west coast of Sumatera.
MetMalaysia explained that among the myth and fiction that needed to be corrected was that Malaysia is immune to the threats of earthquakes.
While Malaysia is not located right along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country also recorded instances of moderate magnitude earthquakes.
Malaysia also felt the aftershocks from earthquakes in neighbouring countries such as the 2004 Tsunami in Aceh which led to 68 fatalities here, especially in Kedah and Pulau Pinang.
Examples of localised earthquakes with high magnitude on the Richter scale that occurred in the country were in Ranau, Sabah in 2015, recorded with a 6.0 magnitude.
MetMalaysia also stressed that predicting earthquakes were a work of fiction.
No scientist including experts abroad were able to do so.