Seismicity in Malaysia

What is an Earthquake?

An earthquake is a sudden movement and vibration that happens on the surface of the earth caused by movements of rocks along a fault or at a plate boundary. However, earthquakes also can be originated by volcanic activity. The greater the size of the earthquake, the greater the destruction it might have caused.

Seismicity in Malaysia and around the region

Malaysia is close to the most two seismically active plate boundaries, the inter-plate boundary between the Indo-Australian and Eurasian Plates on the west and the inter-plate boundary between the Eurasian and Philippines Sea Plates on the east. Major earthquakes originating from these plate boundaries have been felt in Malaysia. Tremors felt along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia are originating from large earthquakes in the active seismic area of Sumatra and Andaman Sea. Malay Peninsula (e.g., Bukit Tinggi, Jerantut, Temenggor and Kuala Pilah) and East Malaysia has experienced earthquakes of local origin. These local earthquakes are associated with active fault that exists in Malay Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak. Several potential active faults have been delineated and local earthquakes in East Malaysia appear to be related to some of them. In addition to the local earthquakes, East Malaysia is also affected by tremors originating from large earthquakes located over Southern Philippines and Northern Sulawesi.

Type of fault line

Fault line is the line on the rock or earth surface that has undergone friction due to movement between two blocks in opposite relative position. It can be divided into 3 main groups namely, Normal Fault, Reverse Fault and Strike-Slip Fault.

i) Normal Fault happened when the relative hanging wall move down towards the foot wall.
ii) Reserve Fault happened when the relative hanging wall move-up towards the foot wall.
iii) Strike-Slip Fault happened when the movement between two blocks in distinct ways horizontally.