Staff and the crowd gathered outside the building at the LHDN Johor Bahru Tower due to the 6.4 magnitude quake incident occurring in South Sumatra. (pix by HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM)

JOHOR BARU: Tremors from a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in South Sumatera, Indonesia today were felt in Johor Baru with several buildings, including Johor Inland Revenue Board (IRB) headquarters and Customs Department, being evacuated for safety reasons.

Tebrau Fire and Rescue Department chief Saiful Safar said about 400 people at the IRB building were rushed out of the building to the parking lot following the tremors.

"They waited for about one hour before being allowed back to their respective offices after we found no danger to the building's structure," he said.

Saiful said the tremors were felt by those who were working on the 11th floor and above, which led to the activation of the evacuation procedure.

An IRB staff Mohd Nazri Ishak, 36, said he felt lightheaded for about five seconds following the tremors.

“We felt the tremors and at the time the building felt like it was swaying to the left and right. The emergency fire alarm later blared across the building, and everyone were forced to evacuate the building on the fire staircase,” he said.

Another staff Norizan Norazami, 38, said she was on the 8th floor when she heard cracking sound coming from the walls next to her working space.

“I felt the tremor twice, heard the walls cracking, and felt dizzy for a few seconds.”

Civil Defence Force personnel on duty said two IRB staff were attended to for medical emergencies when a woman complaint of back pain and a man said he was experiencing chest pains.

"They were both taken to the nearest clinic for medical attention," said a spokesman.

Tremors from the earthquake were also felt in Pontian.

Meanwhile, checks on the wedding preparations for the Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim was still on-going despite the tremors.

A source from the Johor Baru City Council said the two big screens at Dataran Bandaraya are working well and not affected by the tremors.

It was reported that a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Sunday but there was no tsunami risk, seismologists said.

The quake hit at a depth of 35 kilometres at 10:08am, 73 kilometres west of Bengkulu, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

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