As soon as the tremors were felt, residents in Kudat, Papar, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Ranau, Kota Kinabalu and several other districts took to the WhatsApp informing and asking friends whether they too had felt the tremors

KOTA KINABALU: Tremors were felt in Sabah’s west coast following an earthquake measuring 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale in Ranau last night.

As soon as the tremors were felt, residents in Kudat, Papar, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Ranau, Kota Kinabalu and several other districts took to the WhatsApp informing and asking friends whether they too had felt the tremors.

A teacher in Kota Belud, Saili Sinuk, said when the tremors occurred he was at home.

“I saw the walls of my house shaking, so I ran out. Once outside, I saw my neighbours had also come out from their houses.

“The tremors I felt last night were almost the same as what I felt in 2015. Only this time it just shook the walls. In 2015, the zinc roof of the house was also affected,” he told Bernama.

A resident who lived on the second floor of an apartment in Manggatal, Noor Azlina Awang, a 32-year-old teacher, said she and other residents rushed out of their homes and gathered in the compound of the building after experiencing two strong tremors for five to seven seconds.

Another resident, Zenny Marsus from Tamparuli said all of a sudden she felt dizzy and was surprised when her house suddenly shook for about 10 seconds.

Zenny then checked on social sites including WhatsApp to get information about the tremors.

On  June 5, 2015, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu at 7.15am, killing 18 people in its wake.

Mountain guides help hikers descend

Meanwhile,  a team of 18 personnel comprising mountain guides and members of the Mountain Search and Rescue (Mosar) squad have been mobilised to help their colleagues bring down all the hikers on  Mt Kinabalu  as fast as possible.

Gunung Kinabalu Malim Society chairman Junaydie Sihan, when contacted by Bernama,  said this was to ensure the safety of all hikers.

According to Ranau Fire and Rescue Department chief Jimmy Lagung, a total of 130 hikers at the Laban Rata base camp were currently being brought down to a safer location.

Meanwhile, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said all hiking activities at Mount Kinabalu were temporarily suspended.

He said the directive was made upon the advice of the Sabah Parks director, for safety reasons.

Masidi said he had instructed all climbers and tour guides to return to the Sabah Parks Headquarters in Taman Kinabalu with immediate effect.

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