KUALA LUMPUR: A strong earthquake in Sumatera today sent tremors across several states in Peninsular Malaysia causing dizziness and panic among Malaysians.

The earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale was felt by most residents in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Putrajaya, Melaka, Penang and Johor that workers, civil servants and residents in high-rise buildings were ordered to evacuate their buildings.

Azmah Ibrahim, 39, who works at the federal building in Jalan Anson, Georgetown, said she felt the tremors for a few seconds and made her dizzy.

“The tremor was only for a moment but I felt dizzy and saw the signboard hanging on the door and the decorative tree in the office swaying and even my colleague who was next to me felt the same thing,“ she said when contacted here today.

Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan (SAINS) head of corporate communications department Norzita Ismail said the dizziness she experienced was similar to the 2004 tsunami that occurred when she and her family were in Penang.

“I was writing when I felt the desk moving, I thought I was having a headache. Our general manager also experienced the same thing. Then the security personnel ordered us to evacuate the building,’’ she said.

In Johor, Residensi PR1MA Tebrau resident Mohamad Isamuddin Mohamad Isa, 31, said he was working from home and felt the chair he was sitting on shake before his wife shouted that the door of the house shook, causing them both to feel dizzy.

Meanwhile, a Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) officer in Putrajaya, Imran Ariff Mohd Amin said the quake’s tremors caused him and his colleagues to panic before deciding to descend the stairs to the ground floor from the 29th floor.

“Although we were panic-stricken, we tried to remain calm when going down the stairs as we did during the fire drill training session ... the training was helpful and beneficial during unforeseen situations like this,“ he said, adding that they were in a meeting at the time of the incident.

Another KKMM officer, Saidatul Indaha Sulaiman, who felt dizzy and nauseous as a result of the quake, said: “I felt light-headed when the quake occurred and the bottle of mineral water on the table shook... I went downstairs from the 19th floor. ”

Rosly Rayappan, 35, who works at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT), said that at the time of the incident, she was attending an online course.

“Participants then each asked each other if they felt any tremors. We quickly got out of the building,“ said Rosly who works in the Community Credit Control unit.

Muhammad Qahar Sharudin, 37, who is also an officer at KPKT, said he was not aware that the tremors were due to the earthquake in Indonesia.

“I thought it was due to maintenance work in the nearby area,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Puhnita Devi a/p Durairaju, Chief Assistant Secretary to the State Government of the Corporate Communications Division, Melaka Chief Minister's Department, said the tremors caused her chair, desk and computer to shake.

“At that time, there was about 30 staff in the room before panic broke out among them after feeling the tremors. I ordered all staff to leave the office and gather in a designated assembly area outside the building, “ she said when contacted.-Bernama