Monday, October 6, 2008


14 stations to monitor earthquake, tsunami


The Malaysian National Tsunami Early Warning System (MNTEWS) has three components, namely the Data and Information Collection Component, the Processing and Analysis Component and the Information and Warning Dissemination Component. To monitor earthquakes in and around the country, the Malaysia Meteorological Department (MMD) has installed a network of 14 seismic stations at Kota Kinabalu, Lahad Patu, Sandakan and Kudat in Sabah; Bintulu, Kuching and Sibu in Sarawak and Kulim, Ipoh, FRIM Kepong, Kluang, Kota Tinggi and Kuala Terengganu in Peninsular Malaysia. With the network, MMD maintains real-time monitoring of earthquake and tsunami occurrence in the region on a 27-7 basis throughout the year. MMD also receives seismic data from 26 overseas stations to handle the monitoring effectively. A total of six tide gauge stations have been installed in six selected risk areas, Kudat and Lahad Datu in Sabah, Porto Malai in Langkawi, Pulau Perak and Teluk Bahang over the northwestern region of Peninsular Malaysia and Pulau Perhentian in the northeast region to measure and monitor wave activities reaching the shores of Malaysia. These stations serve as the first line monitoring system as they will detect the rise of water level A network of 14 coastal cameras has also been installed for monitoring of sea conditions at coastal areas which are located at Batu Feringgi, Pasir Panjang and Kuala Muda in Penang and Pantai Chenang in Langkawi. MMD has also established direct linkage with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PWTC) in Honolulu and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in Tokyo. This link will provide a direct conununication means for receiving tsunami advisory services issued by the two centres for tsunami that occur in the Pacific, South China Sea and Indian Ocean areas. The dissemination of earthquake information and tsunami warning to the disaster management agencies, media, TV, non-governmental organizations (NGO) etc, is done via various channels such as SMS, hotline, fixed phone, telefax and internet. All earthquake information and warning are also posted on the MMD website. Sirens have also been installed at 13 strategic locations along the coastline areas at Semporna, Tawau and Sandakan in Sabah; Masjid Tg Bungah, Masjid Kuala Kedah, Masjid Kuala Teriang, Teluk Bahang, Batu Feringgi, BTN Pasir Panjang, Kg Nelayan, Kuala Muda, Pantai Chenang and Pantai Teluk Cempedak in Peninsular Malaysia and these will be activated to warn communities at risk if a tsunami is eminent. To ensure effective monitoring and issuing of warning on earthquake and tsunami in the region as well as to enable the system to cater for multi hazards, the MNTEWS in its second phase, is being enhanced by the implementation of gauges, cameras and sirens at several locations throughout the country. Fifteen tide gauge stations will be located on Pulau Mabul in Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Tawau and Terumbu Seira in Sabah and Labuan, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri in Sarawak, Pulau Sembilan, One Fathom Bank, Tg Keling, Tg Gelang, Kuala Terengganu and Pulau Tioman in Peninsular Malaysia. Fourteen coastal cameras will be installed at Semporna, Tawau, Sandakan, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah; Sibu, Bintulu and Miri in Sarawak and Pulau Pangkor, Port Klang, Pulau Tioman, Teluk Cempedak and Kuala Terengganu in Peninsular Malaysia. Ten sirens will be placed at Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah; Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Ketam, Pulau Tioman and Kuala Terengganu in Peninsular Malaysia as well as at Miri in Sarawak. MMD will also be upgrading its earthquake monitoring and analysis system software with the Antelope version 4.9. The enhancement is expected to be completed in 2009.