Tabin mud volcano poses no danger


LAHAD DATU: The mud volcano in the Tabin Wildliife Park here does not pose any danger to the public, according to a geologist.

Prof Dr Felix Tongkul, a former director of the Centre for Natural Disaster Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), said the mud that erupts from the volcano is cold and is not hazardous to people’s health.

“The mud eruption that occurred in Tabin (on Sunday) was safe even though it was dramatic because the incident was limited to that location only and there was no significant impact,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

In fact, he said the mud contains minerals and salts that are beneficial in terms of medicine and nutrients for both humans and animals.

“That’s why there are tourists who like to bathe in the mud as it is said to be good for the skin,” he said.

Felix said mud eruptions can occur in areas where there are cracks or fissures in the Earth, and usually occur continuously at a slow rate.

However, dramatic mud eruptions occur when the mud pressure in the earth increases and needs to be released, he said, adding that the dramatic eruption that happened there on Sunday could re-occur when the accumulated mud pressure reaches a certain level.

“Usually nearby earthquake tremors can also trigger dramatic eruptions like the one in Tabin.

“However, the eruption that occurred last Sunday in Tabin has nothing to do with the earthquake in Taiwan because of its very remote location,” he added.

On another note, Felix said the Malay term “Gunung Berapi Lumpur” to describe the mud volcano was inaccurate as “berapi” denotes fire and that it was more appropriate to use “letusan lumpur” (mud eruption).

On Sunday, the mud volcano in the wildlife park erupted in dramatic fashion at about 10am and was captured on cameral by tourists and tour guides in the area.

Subsequently the videos went viral on social media and was a talking point among netizens.

Similar eruptions were reported to have happened in 2014 and 2019 but these were not captured on camera. – BERNAMA

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