Monday, July 22

5.2 quake jolts Sabah

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KOTA KINABALU: Following a 5.2 magnitude earthquake 16km south west of Ranau at 9.06pm yesterday, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun ordered a temporary suspension of all climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu.

He said via his Twitter account that the decision was made acting on the advice of Sabah Parks director Dr Jamili Nais, as well as in the interest of safety.

“All climbers and tour guides are to return to Park Headquarters immediately,” he concluded.

Climbers, guides and staff on Mount Kinabalu are safe, said  Jamili when contacted via WhatsApp after the quake.

¡§Everyone  on Mount Kinabalu is safe. We may close the summit climbing tomorrow because we need to check the summit trail at daybreak.”

Jamili said: “There are 130 climbers, 42 mountain guides, six mountain search and rescue team members, four porters and 11 Sabah Park staff at Laban Rata at the moment.

The climbers rushed down to the safety point at Laban Rata following the quake.

Jamili said most of the pn the mountain started descending last night.

But there were no reports of any casualties or damage in the 9.06pm incident, said former Mt Kinabalu Mountain Guides Association president Richard Soibi.

Kundasang residents said that it was quite a strong shake that lasted two to three seconds.

The tremors were felt on the western face of Mt Kinabalu from Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Kiulu and the city as well as in Penampang and Papar.

Soibi could not immediately say if there were any damage to structures at the mountain top where a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mt Kinabalu three years ago, killing some 18 climbers and mountain guides.

Several staff of a company in Kota Kinabaklu were shocked when they felt their tables shaking last night.