Keratan Akhbar
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The Minerals and Geosciences Department will carry out seismic analysis to map dangerous zones on Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding areas. Minister in the Prime Ministers's Department Datuk Seri Dr. Shahidan Kassim, in winding up the debate on the Sabah earthquake at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, said three more seismometers would be installed in Ranau, Semporna and Lembah Danum.

"We will acquire more assets for rescue efforts, including helicopters, which were decided after floods (last year). 

"Even with an early warning system, even though the Meteorological Department can forecast tremors, we can't predict the spesific date of a quake."

Shahidan extended the government's appreciation to those who helped in the rescue efforts.

On a suggestion by Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) that a committee comprising earthquake experts be set up, he said the matter would discussed by the National Security Council at the state level.

Shahidan also suggested that those below 18 years be prohibed from climbing Mount Kinabalu and called for stringent standard operating procedures on mountain climbing.

"The Malim Gunung (mountain guides) should be awared and appreciated by acknowledging the also as mountain rangers. their skills and knowledge of the mountain's trails had helped stranded climbers."

Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintilu) said proactive measures must be taken to improve preparedness should an earthquake occur again.

"The government should also invest in bigger helicopters that can withstand harsh weather," he said.

Other suggestions from the House included training rescue personnel on the mountain so that they have a better understanding of its conditions and landscape, as well as increasing mountain guide's salaries to be minimum RM3,000.

Meanwhile, Mineral and Geosciences Department Deputy Director-General Meor Sallehuddin Mior Jadid said the department would seek assistance from experts in Indonesia in carrying out seismic analysis on Mount Kinabalu.

"We are lacking in expertise so it is best to engage countries like Indonesia, which has experts."

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