SINGAPORE: Tremors felt in several parts of Singapore on Friday (Feb 25) were caused by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Northern Sumatra, said the National Environmental Agency (NEA) in response to CNA's queries.
At about 9.40am, people reported feeling tremors from several locations islandwide, including Punggol, Simei, Redhill, Queensway, Ang Mo Kio and Kallang.
CNA readers also said they felt tremors in Bugis, River Valley and Choa Chu Kang.
A CNA reader, who only wanted to be known as Alvin, said he was in a building at the Marina Bay Financial Centre when the tremors began.
"I've had vertigo before so I thought I was having one, but then my colleague stopped typing and we looked at each other, and confirmed she also felt the building was shaking," he said, adding that the building management had received calls from other tenants reporting the incident.
"I was sitting in my classroom and felt swaying. I thought it was a sudden dizzy spell, but after three to four seconds it was gone," said Nurul Hudaa Mohamed Daud, who was in the Parkway Parade office building at the time.
NEA's Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said the tremors were due to the "close proximity of the earthquake to Singapore".
It said it has received reports of tremors from the public in various places including Queen Street, Marine Vista, Tanjong Rhu, Kim Chuan, Kembangan, Hougang, Serangoon and Punggol.
"As the epicentre of this earthquake is over the land, there is no risk of a tsunami occurrence," MSS said.
"Singapore is situated outside an earthquake zone. However, large earthquakes in the nearby region may cause vibrations or tremors to be felt in Singapore."
The last record of reports of tremors from the public was in 2017, it added.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said that they had received several calls from members of the public about the tremors.
"There were no reports of injury or law and order incidents," said the police, advising members of the public to remain calm.
SPF added that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) would like to assure the public that buildings in Singapore are designed to established building codes, and are "sufficiently robust" to withstand tremors caused by distant earthquakes.
SPF later provided another update that engineers from HDB and BCA have completed inspections on the structural safety of 42 buildings affected by the tremors.
"They confirmed that the structural integrity of the buildings have not been affected," it said in the post.
Should residents or occupants in public housing estates spot cracks or other structural defects, they can call HDB’s Emergency Service Providers’ 24-hour hotline at 6241 7711 and 6275 5555. Those in private buildings should call the BCA at 1800-342 5222.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 struck in Sumatra, Indonesia at about 8.39am local time (9.39am Singapore time).
Indonesia's geophysics agency BMKG said in a message on Twitter that the earthquake's epicentre was on land and did not issue a tsunami warning.
The quake, which was on land at a depth of 10km, was also felt in Malaysia, and strongly in the nearby cities of Padang in West Sumatra province and in Pekanbaru in Riau Province, witnesses said.
Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency could not immediately be reached for comment about the damage.
Indonesia suffers frequent earthquakes, straddling the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth’s crust meets.
Last month, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off Java island, prompting some residents in the capital Jakarta to flee from buildings in panic.
A more powerful 7.4 magnitude in Flores Sea triggered a tsunami warning in December, though causing only minor damage.
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