ANN/THE STAR – A mud volcano eruption at Sabah’s Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary in Lahad Datu is a natural seismic occurrence and is no cause for concern, said geologist Professor Dr Felix Tongkul.
“It erupts at regular intervals when mud pressure inside the earth increases. Minor shakes from earthquakes nearby may trigger this eruption.
“The release of pressure, in theory, should lessen the occurrence of severe earthquakes,” said Professor Tongkul, a volunteer with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) as an Honorary Professor of Geology.
He was commenting on the Tabin mud volcano eruption at about 10am on Sunday when eight tourists from the United States (US) and their local guide caught sight of the mud being spewed up to a height of six metres for about 30 minutes.
The relatively rare phenomenon was captured on camera and quickly spread on social media.
“This is a normal occurrence, not to worry.
“However, since Lahad Datu is an earthquake-prone area, we should be prepared (for any eventuality),” he said when contacted yesterday.
Tour guide Hamit Suban said they were in a forest tower when they heard a loud bang and realised that the mud volcano had erupted.