Malaysians need to prepare against earthquakes, says expert
SHAH ALAM - Malaysia's vulnerability to earthquakes, either from local sources or abroad, must be mitigated with the right preparation and early prevention methods.
Former lecturer at Universiti Malaya Geology Department Professor Madya Mustaffa Kamal Shuib said early prevention method much include the dissemination of information to the public.
“The Meteorological Department of Malaysia (MetMalaysia) for example have prepared a series of seismograph stations nationwide.
“This agency passed on the information of earthquakes to the National Security Council (MKN) as well as to all government agencies and the communities in affected areas through various mediums and media,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia had also prepared an earthquakes hazard map.
“They prepared the Malaysian Seismic Hazard Map that is used by local planners and agencies to prepare a guideline and standards for buildings to be built in a particular area.
“MKN also used this map to plan for disaster relief effort while experts used it for a thorough analysis of a particular area,’’ he said.
According to Mustafa Kamal, despite the weak tremors often experience in Malaysia, the people should prepare themselves with basic knowledge on safety and how to mitigate the dangers of earthquakes.
“Safety steps include on what to do before, during and after an earthquake,’’ he said.
Since 2007, the Malaysian Peninsular has experienced weak aftershocks or tremors.
High rise buildings have reported cases of tremors but no major damage has been reported.
Mustafa Kamal also stressed the need for public education to include on the dangers of earthquakes.
He further explained that there is a lack of seismic, geology and geodetic data in the country.
Research in these areas must be enhanced so that the public will better understand localised earthquakes and be able to prepare a much more complete earthquake hazard map.
“Public education programs on the dangers of earthquakes and its preparation must be enhanced and regularly held.
“Public education on earthquakes is being carried out by MetMalaysia through the internet and social media where they post information on earthquakes incidents in South East Asia.
“They also provide information on earthquakes after it had occurred apart from hosting seminars and workshops to share their research findings,’’ he said.