SINGAPORE - Eight pupils and two teachers from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) are still unaccounted for after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu, Sabah in Malaysia, on Friday (June 5).
In a statement on Friday evening, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said the remaining 21 pupils and six teachers from the primary school have been accounted for.
In an update at 12.20am on Saturday (June 6), MOE said it has made arrangements for the families of the missing pupils and teachers to fly to Kota Kinabalu on Saturday morning.
Students and staff from two other schools were also in Mount Kinabalu: Fuchun Secondary and Greenridge Secondary schools. All the student and teachers from these two schools have been accounted for and they have returned safely to Singapore at 12.20am on Saturday (June 6). These include 32 students and four teachers from Greenridge, and 26 students and four teachers from Fuchun.
Parents have been kept updated on the situation throughout the day, said the ministry, adding that MOE officials were on site at the Changi Airport to receive the students and teachers, and to provide any additional support required.
The students and teachers from the three schools are in Mount Kinabalu on an overseas learning journey.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has also despatched a Crisis Response Team to Sabah on Friday afternoon to provide consular assistance to Singaporeans.
The MFA added that Singapore's High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur has contacted his counterparts in the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conveyed Singapore's message of support and offer of assistance.
Mr Sadri Farick, 37, the father of one of the TKPS pupils, said that a doctor in Sabah had called and informed him that his son was injured. Mr Sadri and several parents plan to head to Sabah on Saturday. “I understand that five children have been injured. We have been suffering for the past 13 to 14 hours,” he told The Straits Times.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Faceook post on Friday evening that his thoughts are with those affected by the earthquake and their families.
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Facebook that he had spoken with the parents whose children were unaccounted for at Tanjong Katong Primary School.
Earlier, Mr Heng had said that his staff were in touch with the families of the uncontactable students and teachers:
Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam also said in a Facebook post that he had been monitoring the incident. He added that his thoughts and prayers were with all those affected in the disaster.