Monday, June 20, 2016

The Star: Rainy spell will move east

The Star, 20 June 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: The excessive rainfall in recent days, especially in the Klang Valley, is due to the impact of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) phenomenon, says an expert.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Climatology and Oceanography specialist Prof Dr Fredolin Tangang said the country was currently in the midst of the South-west monsoon season, and the weather should be hot and dry.
“MJO occurs as a result of the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere, causing large-scale convection in the western part of the Indian Ocean,” he added when asked to comment on the massive rainfall occurring in the Klang Valley in the late afternoons.
The US-based Climate Prediction Centre revealed in a report that the MJO phenomenon would occur in the Indian Ocean with a large-scale increase in atmospheric convection in the first week of this month.

“However, this situation will only last for another one to two weeks, when the phenomenon moves more towards the east,” Dr Fredolin said. — Bernama

The Star: Another earthquake could strike Sabah

The Star, 17 June 2016

PETALING JAYA: Another magnitude 6.0 earthquake could jolt Ranau, Sabah, in the next two or three decades.
Revealing this, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said the assessment was based on “past records”.
“Earthquakes are unpredictable but using past records, we can provide a return period of the same magnitude earthquake at the previous location,” he told The Star. In 1976, an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale occurred in Lahad Datu.
On June 5 last year, Mount Kinabalu and the surrounding districts were jolted by a series of earthquakes, with the first measuring 6.0. The incident killed 18 climbers, including four mountain guides.
Madius said the Mensaban and the Lobou-Lobou Fault Zones in Kundasang-Ranau and Lahad Datu-Tawau Fault Zones were active and earthquakes in these areas “have caused and will continue to cause” damage to the infrastructure there.
He said further studies were needed to monitor and gauge the movement of unknown active faults to see whether a bigger earthquake would occur in the future. A Seismic, Tsunami Hazard and Risk study by the Meteorological Department categorised Malaysia as a country with relatively low seismicity, except for Sabah where earthquakes of local origin are known to occur.
But bordered by Indonesia and the Philippines, two of the most seismically active countries in the region, Malaysia faces a certain degree of earthquake risk.
“Comparatively, Sabah has a higher risk compared to Sarawak and the peninsula,” said Madius, a Sabahan who is the MP for Tuaran.
Universiti Malaya Geology Department Associate Prof Mustaffa Kamal Shuib said although Malaysia is located outside the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is still being pushed by the various plates.
“The Sunda land is being pushed towards the north-east by the Indian Australian plate.
“We are being pushed west by the Pacific and the Philippines plate. We are also being pushed downwards towards the south by the Eurasian plate,” he added.
“We are being compressed all over and absorbing all the stress due to the interaction of plates.
“One way to release the stress is to break along fault lines. When that happens, you get these tremors in the peninsula,” he said.


Original Source: The Star
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