SIXTH FACILITY IN SABAH: Equipped with strong motion equipment to detect quakes, too
RANAU 30/09/2012: THE Ranau Meteorogical Office launched yesterday will enable more accurate monitoring and determining of weather patterns and phenomenon at the hilly agricultural centre located about 100km from here.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, who launched the office, said the department now had a station in the interior and highland of Sabah as part of its office network expansion. The new facility, costing RM3.58 million, is the sixth main meteorological station in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Keningau and Kudat.
"It (Ranau office) will not only cover Ranau's weather forecast but also the districts of Kota Marudu (north), Kota Belud (northeast), Tuaran (west), Tambunan (southwest), Keningau (south), Tongod (southeast ) and Beluran (east).
"We need to monitor the highland's weather and climate to increase accuracy of our weather forecast.
"The meteorological facility here will enable us to understand the weather pattern in Ranau as well as identify changes caused by large-scale highland agricultural activities there."
The observation station at the Ranau Meteorological Office is also equipped with strong motion equipment to detect earthquakes in Ranau and surrounding areas. Sabah also has another strong motion station in Danum Valley at Lahad Datu.
Ongkili said the strong motion station was critical as earthquakes and landslides usually occurred along the active fault lines of Mensaban, Crocker, Tabin and Lobou-Lobou located in Ranau and Kundasang.
He said a conclusive study on the cause of earth movements would require a further five-year observation.
Ongkili said the results would enable them to determine the appropriate mitigation and control measures to minimise earthquake impact on activities and the people living in Ranau and Kundasang.
The Ranau office will also enhance public awareness on the role of weather in their daily lives and make weather data more accessible to the public.
It includes information to enable the department's stakeholders to conduct feasibility studies for agricultural and animal husbandry purposes.
By KRISTY INUS