According to earthquaketrack.com, the recent 6.0 magnitude quake which lasted about one minute long, was NOT the highest ever recorded. In 1976 July 26, Lahad Datu recorded a 6.2 magnitude quake.
There were a total of 16 incident of earthquakes in Sabah in the past 20 years.
- 1995-08-11 4.1 Ranau, Sabah
- 1996-12-06 4.4 Lahad Datu, Sabah
- 2001-04-07 5.1 Kudat, Sabah
- 2003-08-03 4.9 Semporna, Sabah
- 2005-05-23 5.3 Sandakan, Sabah
- 2006-04-22 4.0 Sandakan, Sabah
- 2006-09-28 4.5 Ranau, Sabah
- 2008-01-10 4.1 Keningau, Sabah
- 2008-04-09 4.5 Semporna, Sabah
- 2008-05-18 5.0 Tawau, Sabah
- 2009-09-04 4.5 Kudat, Sabah
- 2010-08-21 4.2 Lahad Datu, Sabah
- 2012-05-28 4.6 Lahad Datu, Sabah
- 2014-02-01 4.7 Ranau, Sabah (Mount Kinabalu)
- 2014-10-24 4.6 Kudat, Sabah
- 2015-06-05 6.0 Ranau, Sabah (Mount Kinabalu)
Deputy director-general of the Meteorological Department Dr. Mohd Rosaidi bin Che Abas, when interviewed by Sin Chew Daily pointed out that:
“There will not be stronger earthquakes than this in the near future. However, as Ranau has entered the phase of seismic activity, we cannot rule out the possibility of even stronger quakes in the future.”
Public are advised to stay away from Mount Kinabalu for the time being for fear of landslides.
Update 1 (2015-06-09):
As pointed out by one of the commenter, Sky Lee, 4.0 – 5.0 magnitude earthquakes are considered light and will not shake the granite structure of Mount Kinabalu.
Public should not be too wary and make wild speculations.
However climbers are still advised to stay away from mountain areas for the time being, as it is possible that there could be a repeat of yesterday’s quake, as pointed out by Dr Felix Tongkul, a geology professor from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, in an interview with Sin Chew Daily.
Here an extract from Wikipedia on earthquake effects in simplified terms.
|Magnitude||Average earthquake effects|
|4.0–4.9||Noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over.|
|5.0–5.9||Can cause damage of varying severity to poorly constructed buildings. At most, none to slight damage to all other buildings. Felt by everyone.|
|6.0–6.9||Damage to a moderate number of well-built structures in populated areas. Earthquake-resistant structures survive with slight to moderate damage. Poorly designed structures receive moderate to severe damage. Felt in wider areas; up to hundreds of miles/kilometers from the epicenter. Strong to violent shaking in epicentral area.|