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Sunday, December 26, 2004
Tsunami Hits Penang Update



Things are clearer now but unfortunately the local tsunami related mortality is rising. Bernama reports that at least 30 deaths have occurred.
Najib is reported as saying that the PM has been kept informed and has been told regarding measures taken. Najib is also quoted as saying :: "Our country has never experienced such a disaster before." This may be the reason why the tsunami which followed the earthquake, said to the largest in the world in the last 40 years, has appeared to caught us unprepared. The quake is said to have occurred at about 8.58am and the tsunami only hit Batu Ferringghi at about 1.45pm. This was according to an eyewitness, Dr George Jacob, who was in the Casuarina Beach Hotel, Batu Ferringghi, when the tsunami struck.
In Kedah, at least 7 were reported dead after a tsunami tidal wave roared through nine villages along the Kuala Muda coast. This was reported by BERNAMA.
The latest report by the STAR says that at least 43 people were killed and more reported missing in several parts of Malaysia when tidal waves of up to six metres high hit northern Peninsular Malaysia following an earthquake in Sumatra Sunday.
The Director of the Seismology Division of the Meteorological Services Department, Low Kong Chiew, said in a statement that the quake hit northwest Sumatra at 8.58am. "A preliminary measurement showed that the centre of the earthquake was at Latitude 3.1 N and Longitude 95.5 E (about 680km from Kuala Lumpur) with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale," he said. Wonder what he did after the preliminary measurement was made? Latest media reports said that the quake was 8.9 on the Richter scale. And some reports stated that after-shocks can be expected up to two weeks after the quake. So do stay away from the seas and the beaches.
Our Works MINIster, DS Samy either is clairvoyant or has had a premonition. This report carried by BERNAMA had him saying this :: "This morning I contacted the Director-General of MHA Datuk George George between 7 and 7.30am regarding the matter.". The Sumatran quake occurred at 8.58am and the tsunami hit Penang at about 1.45pm! Samy was already on the job before that. It is also reported that he has been informed by the experts that the Penang bridge is not affected and safe for traffic. The experts had given their opinion after having conducted a visual inspection using special equipment, the inspection found no unusual readings. i am sure that Samy and his experts would be following up those visual inspections with special equipment by taking a much closer inspection of the bridge and further testing. They might also want to take a closer look at those newly repaired cracking pillars of the MRR2.
The CM of Penang, some are calling her, the decaying state, is said to be in New York. Samy wanted to share the tremors and has kept TS Koh informed of the disaster in his state. Though unfortunate, this wil provide a chance for TS Koh to demonstrate what his newly proclaimed 3E can do. Though the 3E's are really meant to clean up 'dirty decaying Penang', the tsunami mess today can also benefit from the 3E's.




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