Tremors rock Mount Kinabalu in Sabah

4-magnitude quake rekindles fears of deadly temblor that killed 18 last year

A 4.0-magnitude earthquake hit the Mount Kinabalu area in East Malaysia, some 16km west of Ranau on Aug 26, 2016. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KOTA KINABALU • A magnitude-4 earthquake struck Ranau in Sabah yesterday, reviving memories of last year's deadly tremors that killed 18 people, including 10 Singaporeans, Malaysian media reported.

The three-second quake struck the Mount Kinabalu area, about 16km west of Ranau at 9.39am, The Star daily reported yesterday, citing the Malaysian Meteorological Department. It was felt in Ranau, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Tuaran.

Mountain guide Mollonius Tingdal said he and several climbers were on their way down from the summit when they felt tremors at Pondok Paka at 3,080m.

"It lasted about three seconds and after ensuring everyone was fine, we continued our journey down," he said.

Ranau police chief Mohd Farhan Lee said there have been no reports of damage or injuries, so far. "We are monitoring the situation," he said.

Workers in a hotel at the foot of the mountain said almost everyone in the building felt the quake and ran out of the building for fear of something worse.

"It was quite strong and almost felt like last year's fatal quake," said a regular customer at the hotel, who did not want to be named.

"Things returned to normal after a while but we are still worried," she said.

Mr Judie John, who lives on the fifth floor of a condominium in the area, said he felt the tremors too. "I was worried initially but luckily, it stopped after a few seconds. I hope there won't be any more tremors."

Driver Minah Sidek, who was looking for parking near Penampang, said she too felt the ground shaking despite being in her car.

Last year, 18 people who were on the mountain died after a 6-magnitude earthquake on June 5, which also happened to be a Friday.

Aftershocks continued for months, causing concern among villagers who lived at the foothills, according to Malay Mail Online.

Seven pupils and two teachers from Singapore's Tanjong Katong Primary School, and a Singaporean guide, were killed in the tragedy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline Tremors rock Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. Subscribe