This came after a 7.3 Richter scale quake in the Celebes Sea.
KOTA KINABALU: The people in Sabah panicked when tremors, triggered by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale in the Celebes Sea today, were felt in several areas of the state.
A civil servant, who identified herself as Noami, said she felt the tremors from the third floor of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry Integrated Complex building where she was working.
“At that time, the computer I was looking at was shaking and then I felt lightheaded… the tremors could be felt for about 10 seconds.
“I immediately rushed out of the office after (experiencing) the tremors and it was apparent that all the employees here (at the building) also felt the tremors,” she told Bernama here today.
Earlier, the Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Che Gayah Ismail told Bernama the quake occurred at 2.13pm and had its epicentre 267km southeast of Isabel City in the Philippines and 466km north-east of Semporna in Sabah.
Another resident, Sheila Yong, said the incident occurred when she was at the Queen Elizabeth 1 Hospital here.
“I was in the lift to the eighth floor to visit a friend when I felt the tremors. As a result, I panicked and immediately pressed the button to the ground floor.
“When I got there, I saw many people gathered and (they) looked panicked and some were seen running out of the building,” she said.
In SEMPORNA, a government employee, Mahathir Lahadi said he also felt the tremors at 2.20pm.
“I was in the office when it happened but I didn’t panic and my other friends also looked calm,” he said.
Teacher Aslina Ali, 30, said she felt the tremors which lasted 10 seconds while she was at her home in SMK Tagasan housing quarters.
“I had just returned from school and was resting at the time.”
In LAHAD DATU, a private sector employee, Labai Lasidi, 24, said he felt the tremors in the town area twice.
Another resident, Ruby Jean Zomil Flores, 27, said she also felt the tremors for a few seconds in Taman Harapan here.
In SANDAKAN, the employees working in the Federal Building were told to evacuate the premises and assembled at the nearby car park.
Sandakan FM employee Mohd Wan Kunorhidzwah Ahmat said he felt the tremors when he was on the sixth floor of the building before the Civil Defence Force personnel instructed all the staff to go to the ground floor.
A Kampung Gana Jati Beluran resident, Ancharudin Kobulai, said he experienced the tremors three times.
In TAWAU, district Fire and Rescue Department station chief Ismaidi Ismail said they received a distress call over the tremors at the Federal Building here at 2.26pm.
“The firefighters arrived at the scene at 2.31pm and checked the building with staff from the Public Works Department.”
The Sabah Fire and Rescue Department said it received 97 distress calls.
It said as soon as the first call was received at 2.27 pm, firemen were mobilised to monitor several areas.
“Among the areas monitored were Wisma Wanita, Jalan Tuaran-Kota Kinabalu, Wawasan Plaza shopping complex, Innoprise building, Kota Kinabalu, Telekom Malaysia Bhd building and Jalan Tunku Abd Rahman.
“Other areas also monitored in Kota Kinabalu were Ming Garden Hotel, Bank Negara building, Yayasan Sabah building and General Post Office building.”
It said there was a slight rift in the seventh floor of the General Post Office building here and the Works Department carried out checks.