SINGAPORE: Tremors were felt in parts of Sabah, Malaysia after a 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit Ranau at about 9pm on Thursday night (Mar 8).
The incident prompted a temporary suspension of activities on Mount Kinabalu. Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Masidi Manjun tweeted that he had ordered a temporary suspension of all climbing activities and ordered all climbers and guides to return to the park's headquarters "immediately".
At least 130 climbers were being brought down from the mountain, with the Mountain Search and Rescue Team on duty at Mount Kinabalu confirming that they were all safe.
Ranau Fire and Rescue Department chief Jimmy Lagung said they received an update on the condition of the hikers at about 9.40pm.
"I have received a report from members of Mosar who were on duty, and all climbers are in safe condition and asked to remain vigilant," he said.
According to the chief, rocks were still falling and the fire and rescue department were carrying out patrols with the help of police.
Noor Azlina Awang, a 32-year-old teacher living on the second floor of an apartment in Manggatal, said she and other residents rushed out of their homes and gathered in the compound of the building after experiencing two strong tremors that lasted between five and seven seconds.
Another resident, Zenny Marsus from Tamparuli, said that she felt dizzy all of a sudden and that her house shook for about 10 seconds.
A teacher in Kota Belud, Sabah said he was at home and ran outside when the tremors occurred.
“I saw the walls of my house shaking, so I ran out," he said. "Once outside, I saw my neighbours had also come out from their houses."
“The tremors I felt tonight 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."
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Mount Kinabalu on Jun 5, 2015 killed 18 people.