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LABUAN, 10 Jan 2017:
Tremors felt on this duty-free island from a 7.3-magnitude earthquake today in the Celebes Sea sent dozens of workers scurrying for safety out of tall buildings.
One of the buildings evacuated was the Financial Park Complex owned by Bank Negara – which houses more than 80 government agencies and departments, food outlets, shops and offshore financial firms.
Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail said the quake occurred at 2.13pm and had its epicentre 267km southeast of Isabel City in the Philippines and 466km north-east of Semporna in Sabah.
Labuan Corporation (LC) chairman and Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli was among the LC staff who vacated their offices at the 11-storey Menara Perbadanan Labuan.
Personnel from the Labuan Fire and Rescue Service arrived at 2.32pm to check the building and ordered all the tenants and occupants to gather at a safe place about 50m from the complex.
The tremors were also reportedly felt in several parts of Sabah.
LC corporate affairs officer Usamah Ibrahim said the tremors were not intense but enough to frighten the occupants of Menara Perbadanan Labuan.
He said the staff looked at one another when they felt the tremors and immediately rushed to the lift to get out of the building.
Hamidah Osman, one of the staff at the complex, said she was terrified after seeing the glass on her table shake.
“This is the first time I had experienced this situation. Worried that the building may collapse, the other staff and I immediately rushed to the lift while some used the staircase to leave the complex.”