Ministry dispels tsunami rumours

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Communications has dispelled rumours of a tsunami in Brunei within the next few days, saying there was no such threat in the country.

Based on latest sources from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii, USA, the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department stated that there was no threat of a tsunami taking place in Brunei.

“The information transmitted through social networking platform WhatsApp regarding a tsunami which will affect the state of Brunei is unfounded,” the department said in a press statement issued yesterday.

The WhatsApp text message has been making rounds on social media since Friday, warning of an impending tsunami.

It said there was a possibility that the Kuala Belait area would be affected by a tsunami from January 19 to 24. The message also said, “All are asked) to standby for the contingencies...”

It also said all field workers or any work would be asked to stop on that day, and that any scaffolding work have been instructed to be suspended. The source of the viral message could not be verified. The Meteorological Department explained that tsunamis are unpredictable events, and the phenomenon usually occurs when a strong earthquake takes place in the sea, following the clash of tectonic plates, creating high square waves which move toward the shore.

Referring to the latest update of the weather forecast, Northeast wind gusts are expected to rise, causing the weather situation to continue to be active for the month of January, with rainfall and thundershower activities.

The condition of waves in the Brunei waters is expected to rise from above moderate level to stormy, rising up to 4.5 metres, particularly offshore from January 20 to 24 with wind speed rising to 60kph, the statement said.

The public have been advised not to spread unverified information through social media, which can cause anxiety and panic to the public. Also, the public, drivers and mariners are advised to continue to take precautions to maintain security and prevent mishaps.

The Meteorological Department stated that it would continue to monitor weather conditions and related matters from time to time, and issue weather warnings when necessary in accordance with the department’s standard operating procedure.

Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director Ken Marnoch’s said Brunei Shell Joint Venture Companies are proactively and planning ahead for activities based on the active weather conditions that have been forecast to potentially impact Brunei.

“The safety of our people and assets is always our priority and we have procedures and are prepared to deal with the forecast weather,” Marnoch said.

For the latest weather information, the public can call the duty officer at the department’s Forecast Centre, Brunei International Airport, via the Weather Line 114 or 2345567, or visit the website www.met.gov.bn.

The Brunei Times