JOLTED: Residents in Janda Baik preparing for another series of quakes
BENTONG: AFTER experiencing the most number of tremors between 2007 and 2009, residents of Janda Baik are preparing for another series of small earthquakes after Wednesday's 8.6-magnitude temblor which occurred off Sumatra.
The small town with 720 homes and some 3,700 people were in the limelight when 37 out of 40 of the seismic incidences occurred along a fault line near here were felt by them and those in Bukit Tinggi.
The three other tremors were felt in Jerantut, and Manjung in Perak.
"Although it was only a slight tremor, we were still scared," said Janda Baik village security and development committee chairman Zahari Raof.
Based on the Meteorological Department's records, the tremors were detected at Bukit Tinggi and Janda Baik, along a fault line 15km wide and 70km long, with the strongest one measuring 3.5 in magnitude on the Richter scale.
Zahari said the authorities had met the residents several times after they had expressed concern over the incidents.
The residents were relieved when they were told that any earthquake in that area could not possibly surpass the 5.0 in magnitude despite Bukit Tinggi and Janda Baik being located on the fault line.
Zahari said the residents had previously requested that the government conduct a detailed study on the soil structure along the fault line when they found some damage on the buildings, including cracks on walls and floors in some buildings.
"We hope a similar study will also be done following the recent quake off Sumatra. Although no buildings collapsed, we are still concerned about our safety."
Zahari said Janda Baik and Bukit Tinggi were first hit by tremors in Nov 2007 following a series of earthquakes that occurred in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Although no tremor was reported here since 2009, Malaysia was not spared minor earthquakes with the latest one recording 3.2 on the Richter scale felt in Mersing on March 29 this year.
The Meteorological Department's records also showed that seven tremors were recorded in Sabah last year while another nine in 2010.
In 2009, two tremors were recorded in Sabah and one each in Jerantut and Manjung.
However, the earthquakes were only between 2.4 and 4.3 on the Richter scale.
The department has 17 seismology stations operating in Malaysia, capable of detecting quakes and tremors that occur in the country.
The last major earthquake of 6.2 magnitude, happened in Lahad Datu, Sabah, on July 26, 1976.