SINGAPORE: Police have urged members of the public to remain calm after tremors were felt in Singapore, following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia on Wednesday night (Mar 2).
In an advisory, police said the Meteorological Services confirmed the earthquake hit southwest Sumatra - about 1,237km from Singapore - at about 8.49pm on Wednesday. Tremors were subsequently felt in parts of Singapore from 8.53pm.
Both the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) received several calls from the public reporting tremors, but there were no reports of injury or "law and order incident", the police said.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) have also visually inspected and found the reported buildings to be structurally safe, the police added. Both BCA and HDB assured the public that buildings in Singapore are designed to established building codes and are sufficiently robust to withstand tremors caused by distant earthquakes.
If cracks or structural defects are seen, HDB residents should call 24-hour hotlines 6241 7711 and 6275 5555, while those in private buildings should call the BCA at 1800-3425 222.
No new reports of tremors have been received by the police and SCDF following the latest aftershock in Sumatra, the police said.
TREMORS FELT IN BISHAN, EAST COAST, SENG KANG, ANG MO KIO
Residents in Singapore reported feeling tremors in areas including Bishan, Punggol, East Coast, Seng Kang and Ang Mo Kio. However, Singapore is unlikely to be affected by the tsunami, said the National Environment Agency.
A Katong resident, who only wanted to be identified as Ms Amanda, said she felt tremors from her 12th-floor apartment shortly after the quake struck, at about 9.05pm.
“I was lying down reading a book when suddenly I felt like the ground was moving side to side. I thought I was feeling tired, but my mum saw our lamps outside shaking, so we decided to evacuate,” she told Channel NewsAsia.
Amanda said there were about 15 residents gathered downstairs of her condominium. Her family of six stayed at the ground floor for about half an hour.
“We live quite high up, and we have two dining lamps which won’t shake if it’s just (strong) wind. It’s happened before during an earthquake as well,” said Ms Amanda of her family’s decision to self-evacuate from their apartment.
They eventually returned to their home at 9.30pm. “We just wanted to be safe first. We headed downstairs and saw other people, so that confirmed it,” she said.
"I felt I was swaying from left to right. On a scale from 1 to 5, I'll rate (the movement) at 2.5 to 3": A Singapore resident in Kembangan felt tremors from #SumatraQuake. bit.ly/1T7IAilPosted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Wednesday, 2 March 2016
A resident in Kembangan who lives in an apartment also reported feeling strong tremors from the quake. "I felt like I was swaying from left to right. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'll rate (the movement) at 2.5 to 3," said Ms Jazryl Lee.
Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The country straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF TREMORS
If members of the public are inside a building and feel tremors, police advise them to:
i) Take cover under a sturdy table or furniture
ii) Keep away from items made of glass or any hanging object
iii) Do not use the lift
iv) Do not use any naked light, in case there is a gas leak
Those out in the open should minimise their movement and stay away from buildings, street lights and utility wires, police added. After the vibrations have stopped, they should:
i) Stay away from any exposed electrical cables, hanging glass objects
ii) Report any gas leakage
iii) Help the injured, call SCDF if the injuries are significant
iv) Report any incidents or issues of law and order to Police
v) Tune in to the radio for updates, according to police
The SCDF similarly asked those in Singapore to not be alarmed, and posted information on what to do in the event of tremors.