Sabah Earthquake: Stranded Kinabalu climbers ‘making way down’ – At least 145 people are trapped on top of the Mount Kinabalu following the quake this morning and rescue operations to retrieve them are ongoing, according to Sabah Parks. Its director Dr Jamili Nais said a helicopter will be flying to Laban Rata to retrieve those who are injured.
A group of 40 people from via ferrate area are also trapped, where four people suffered injuries such as broken limbs (arm and leg) and head injuries. It was also reported that a group of climbers are making their way down one of South East Asia’s highest peaks after being stranded by an earthquake, officials say. Tourism minister for Sabah state Masidi Manjun tweeted – “The climbers were “cautiously” heading to a guest house high on Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu”
The 6.0 magnitude earthquake triggered landslides, trapping the climbers while earlier rescue attempts with helicopters had to be abandoned due to bad weather. There have been no deaths reported, but the quake was powerful enough to snap off one of Mount Kinabalu’s distinctive “Donkey’s Ear” peaks and all climbing activity on the mountain has been suspended.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake happened at around 07:15 local time, at a depth of 10m (32ft). The epicentre was 54km (33 miles) from Mt Kinabalu. Mt Kinabalu, which stands at 4,095m, is popular with climbers from around the world where many come here to attempt the challenging “via ferrata” climbing route, where cables, metal rungs and bridges are set into the rocks on the steep terrain to help people ascend.
Masidi Manjun said that 32 guides were assisting the tourists on their way down, with the group moving “cautiously due to damaged trails”. “Other than ongoing rescue efforts, our priority is to send food, drinks and warm clothing to those still stranded on the mountain,” he said in a recent report. Some of the climbers had ascended to the summit as early as 3am to watch the sunrise as the earthquake struck.