All 239 people on Mount Kinabalu evacuated safely after quake; mountain climbing activities ceased

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – All 239 people on Mount Kinabalu – including 130 climbers – have been safely evacuated following the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Ranau district on Thursday (March 8).

Apart from two women suffering from acute mountain sickness during the descent, all others were brought down safely by 4.30am on Friday, said a spokesman for the state Fire and Rescue Services Department.

Aside from the climbers, the others brought down by Mountain Search and Rescue teams include Sutera staff who were managing hostels on Mount Kinabalu, four construction workers and Sabah Parks staff.

Sabah Parks has ceased all mountain climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu as it is assessing the current situation before making a decision as to whether to reopen the mountain.

The tremors were felt on the western face of the Mount Kinabalu from Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Kiulu and the city, while residents in areas such as Penampang and Papar also reported feeling the tremors.

Firemen said that there was no damage reported while various agencies are carrying out checks on buildings in Ranau and Kundasang.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah geologist Professor Felix Tongul has cautioned residents to brace themselves for more aftershocks from the earthquake.

An aftershock with a magnitude of 2.1 was recorded at 9.27pm on Thursday, but was not felt by most people.

In 2015, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit the mountain, killing 18 climbers and guides, including 10 Singaporeans.

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