Many residents of high-rise buildings in Penang felt the tremors of the 7.7-mag earthquake that hit Sumatra recently. Tsunami warnings were issued but people here were still very laid back. The tsunami that hit Penang 6 years ago was just a once-in-a-lifetime incident, many people would say. Being so close to the ring of fire, I would doubt so. Even when there was a tsunami warning, we're not sure what is the right thing to do. Stay away from the coast, move to the higher ground, stay put? I think the government step in here and provide more awareness and training to its people. Its better to be safe than sorry later. A little instance of pro-activeness could save lives...who knows.
Early morning terror for high-rise residents in the northGEORGE TOWN: Tremors hit several high-rise buildings on Penang island following the earthquake in Sumatra, causing some residents to fear that another tsunami was about to lash the island.
Housewife M. Mohana, 48, who lives in the Taman Pelangi flats in Macallum Street Ghaut, said she was sitting on the sofa in the living room when she felt her body rocking.
“I looked up and saw the blades of the fan swaying.
“The windows and doors were all closed, so I was wondering how the fans in the hall and in my son’s room could sway.
“That’s when I knew something was wrong. I thought of the tsunami that hit Penang years ago and got worried,” she said.
Mohana said she quickly woke her son, daughter, two grandchildren and a sick aunt who were all asleep in their rooms and dashed out of the third-floor unit.
Another resident Teh Lay Eng, 55, who lives on the 17th floor said she had felt about five tremors since moving there, but yesterday’s incident was the strongest.
“I was in the living room after getting up at about 6am and I suddenly felt dizzy.
“I felt the whole room was moving around me and the door was rattling.
“I quickly dashed into the room to wake up both my children and we ran down using the staircase,” she said.
Villagers in Kota Kuala Muda in Kedah, which was badly hit by the tsunami six years ago, also fled their homes when they felt tremors about 6.15am.
Kota Kuala Muda Tsunami Victims Association chairman Yusof Awang said some of them took important documents with them.
“Although there was no tsunami warning, the villagers fled their homes,” he said.
Fisherman Ibrahim Abdullah, 53, from Taman Permatang Katong said that he was about to perform Subuh prayers when he felt the tremors.
“I immediately took my family to an open field overlooking the sea,” he said.