Most Malaysian would believe that this country is not prone to tsunami and earthquakes. But this is totally not true since the experts have different views based on their knowledge and research. One of the evidence is the occurrence of terrific attacked of tsunami on 26 December 2004 which affected northern coastal areas in Peninsular Malaysia and outlying islands like Langkawi and Penang. This natural disaster was caused by earthquake in the Indian Ocean with the magnitude about 9.0 on the Richter scale. Total number of deaths in Malaysia were estimated almost 70 people and many houses in the fishing village were damaged. Therefore, it is very important to cultivate public awareness and consciousness about the risk of this hazard since it is no more trivial tragedy to be snubbed.
Besides, there are few more evidences on the occurrence of mild earthquakes in Malaysia. Back in 2012, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) had detected eight earthquakes in the eastern part of the country, in Sabah and Sarawak with the Richter scale between 2 and 4.5. There were about six earthquakes had occurred in Sabah (Tambunan, Kota Marudu, Kudat, Beluran, Kunak and Keningau) and two earthquakes had occurred in Belaga, Sarawak. In Malaysia history, the strongest earthquakes recorded was believed had occurred in 1976 in Lahat Datu, Sabah with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale.
Research findings also stated that the construction of major dams and reservoirs, or the pumping of pollutants deep in the subsurface, can alter the stress and strain on the earth’s crust, creating “induced seismicity” which can cause minor earthquakes and tremors. The basis of the earthquakes design for the buildings in Malaysia are now should be considered, experts stated about the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Malaysia including the Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. The study concluded that seismic design should be considered for high rise buildings on deep or soft soil site on the western side of the Peninsular Malaysia and for all buildings in Sabah.
The main objectives of the seminar are as follows:
- To cultivate public awareness and highlight the geological formation and potential risk of earthquake and tsunami in Malaysia
- To discuss the control technology on warning system of tsunami and earthquake design criteria for buildings in Malaysia.