KUNDASANG: A strong earthquake that jolted Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu has killed at least 11 people and left another eight missing on Southeast Asia’s highest peak, a government official said Saturday.
“As at noon time, 11 bodies have been recovered (2 identified) and eight people are still missing,” Masidi Manjun, the tourism minister for the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island said, on his Twitter feed.
The 6.0-magnitude quake struck early Friday near the picturesque mountain, a popular tourist destination, sending landslides and huge granite boulders tumbling down from the 4,095-metre peak’s wide, jagged crown.
Malaysian rescuers had earlier on Saturday brought down to safety 137 hikers who had been stuck on the mountain for up to 18 hours, their descent blocked by damage to a key trail and the threat of continuing rockfalls.
The quake, one of the strongest in the country in decades, jolted a wide area of Sabah state, shattering windows, cracking walls and sending people fleeing from buildings in the nearby state capital of Kota Kinabalu.
But no reports of major damage have emerged and no other casualties have yet been reported outside of those that occurred on the mountain.