Sabah Earthquake: LATEST UPDATES And All You Need To Know

Apart from the state capital, the tremors were felt in the northern Kudat and Kota Marudu districts and as far away Beaufort in the south.

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02 Jul — 10:07 AM

Weak quake measuring at 2.9 on the Ritcher scale hits Ranau

Sensors like this one, placed on the mountain, could minimise the likelihood of anyone getting caught in an earthquake there in the future

Image via Kinabalu Today

A weak earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale hit Ranau, Sabah at 5.11pm Wednesday, said the Meteorological Department.

In a statement issued today, the department said the earthquake epicentre at 6.0 north and 116.7 east and four kilometres northwest of Ranau had created tremors in the affected area.

"Based on its location and magnitude, the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami that could affect the coast of Malaysia," said the statement.
01 Jul — 01:17 PM

Lahad Datu may be next to be hit by earthquake, says geologist

Image via Coconuts KL

A preliminary study shows that Lahad Datu may be the next district in Sabah to be hit by earthquake. Local geologist Professor Dr Felix Tongkul said research conducted in the area suggested that the stress that would result in an earthquake had been building up, but it was difficult to pinpoint when it would actually occur.

The last earthquake to hit Lahad Datu registered 6.2 on the Richter scale in 1976.

However, he cautioned that it might also not be likely for the next quake to hit Lahad Datu as the district had been experiencing smaller but frequent tremors that could have helped release much of the stress that had been building up.

“These incidences of the smaller tremors may help avert a major earthquake from occurring because it releases energy (stress) all the time” said the Universiti Malaysia Sabah lecturer, adding that the longer stress was kept from being released, the stronger the earthquake.

Tongkul, however, urged all the relevant authorities to be prepared for such an event.
25 Jun — 10:47 PM

Mount Kinabalu to be reopened in September, announces Sabah Minister of Tourism

Image via cyrilcanvas

Mount Kinabalu is expected to be reopened to climbers in early September, said Sabah Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment Masidi Manjun. Masidi said, however, the number of people on the mountain at any one time would be reduced by about half, from 192 to about 90, in the early stages of its reopening to climbers

"The safety of climbers is of utmost priority. We do not want to take a risk by maintaining the number as in the past," he told reporters after handing over contributions to the victims of the June 5 earthquake.

Masidi also said that work, with the aid of technical expertise, was going on to restore the climbing routes and any delay would be due to the aftershocks."The aftershocks continue to occur and, up to yesterday, 91 aftershocks have been recorded," he said.
18 Jun — 12:07 PM

3 more earthquakes hit Sabah, with one measuring 4.0 on the magnitude scale this morning

A weak earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale hit Ranau, Sabah, at 5.58am today. The Meteorological Department, in a statement today, said the tremors from the earthquake could only be felt in Ranau.

It was the third tremor since yesterday. Two weak earthquakes were detected in Ranau yesterday, with the first, measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale, at 11.51 am and the second, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, at 6.12 pm.

The department has recorded more than 65 aftershocks since the July 5 Mount Kinabalu earthquake which resulted in the deaths of 18 people.
13 Jun — 05:06 AM

BREAKING NEWS: Ranau hit by 5.2-magnitude aftershock

Image via The Star

A strong aftershock measuring 5.2 hit Ranau in Sabah at 2.29am. The tremors rattled residents in Kota Kinabalu where some people in highrise buildings ran out of their home, fearing for their safety.

One of the Kota Kinabalu resident told The Star, "I felt tremors in my house at 2.29am. I thought a really big cat was running across the roof." While a Ranau resident said his family moved outdoor after tremors and were waiting to see what happened next, The Star reported.

12 Jun — 01:20 PM

Sabah leaders: Stripping tourists broke the law, not just insult our culture

Image via The Malay Mail

Sabah leaders have come out in defence of the state’s customs and ancestral beliefs now being derided globally after a senior government leader blamed last week’s deadly earthquake on tourists who stripped naked on Mount Kinabalu.

“We are not apologetic of our rich cultural heritage. They define who we are and we should be proud of them.Other countries, too, have native laws and taboos and if they can respect those in other countries, there is no reason why it should be an exception in Sabah,” he said.

Masidi pointed out that the titillating titles by foreign newspaper masked the fact that the tourists’ act, earthquake notwithstanding, would have merited punishment for breaking both local laws and norms.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation president Madius Tangau said the foreign media’s controversial portrayal of Sabah was damaging and inaccurate, and failed to convey that the tourists’ act was illegal in and of itself.

“Yes, there have been insinuations and claims by some to link the earthquake with the nudist incident, but the fact is the nudists are being detained for investigation on their behaviour, which is against Malaysian laws.
12 Jun — 01:31 PM

High likelihood of an earthquake hitting KL, says experts

Image via Bloomberg

Following the quake tragedy in Sabah, there have been concerns that an earthquake may also hit Kuala Lumpur and according to a geological expert, such misgivings are not misplaced.

This is because the federal capital is located near the epicentres of ancient fault line zones, said Universiti Malaya Geology Department Associate Professor Mustaffa Kamal Shuib.

A seismology expert, Dr Mohd Rosaidi Che Abas, 54 from The Meteorological Department’s Deputy Director (Application) said some of the country’s most vulnerable areas are Bukit Tinggi in Pahang and Kuala Pilah in Negeri Sembilan.

Tan Sri Ahmad Phesal Talib, Kuala Lumpur Mayor had said that DBKL would review the construction of new highrise buildings in Kuala Lumpur, especially the safety aspects of these buildings to withstand earthquake tremors.

He had said the views and advice of relevant experts would be sought with regard to this. Phesal was asked to comment on a local media report which touched on Malaysia's location that put the country at risk of earthquake tremors in future.
12 Jun — 01:31 PM

Foamy rivers and falling boulders send villagers living around Mt Kinabalu into a frenzy

Image via Sabahkini

Panic gripped villagers living around the foothills of Mount Kinabalu when boulders and rocks began rolling down close to their homes.

Some said they were preparing to evacuate as rivers flowing from the mountain began to foam up.

Some reported seeing hundreds of dead fish floating.

Apparently the massive landslide had occurred on the western part of Mount Kinabalu, visible from Marai Parai and after that the river water at Mesilou turned foamy and ground movements were felt.

At Nuluh Kiau it was reported that several houses suffered cracks.

Prof Dr Felix Tongkul

Image via Linkedln

Universiti Malaysia Sabah geologist Prof Dr Felix Tongkul said that while the university’s research team was unable to ascertain the cause of the river’s condition, its chemist would be obtaining samples from the river to ascertain its source.

He also said that the UMS research team was not sure how many areas had been affected by the same phenomenon.

Earlier, in a statement, he urged villagers living along the riverbanks here to be cautious of possible mud floods, which he said could be dangerous.

“The aftershocks are causing continuous soil and rock falling, and these are blocking river flow, creating temporary dams.
12 Jun — 01:31 PM

Sultan of Johor donates RM1 million to aid Sabah quake recovery efforts

Image via Malaysiakini

Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar of Johor showed his compassion yet again, this time by lending a big helping hand to victims of the Sabah earthquake by donating RM1mil to the State Disaster Relief Fund Committee to help with recovery efforts involving the tragedy.

"The Sabah government and people are thankful to His Royal Highness for the donation of RM1 million to the State Disaster Relief Fund Committee," said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said he was also touched by the concern of the sultan who had instructed for 'solat hajat' prayers to be held in Johor for the safety of the earthquake victims in Sabah.

In Kuala Lumpur, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government was donating RM100,000 to the Mount Kinabalu Earthquake Relief Fund.

“It is hoped that the donation will help bring some relief to the affected people,” he told reporters at the lobby of Parliament House.

He said the fund would be overseen by Outward Bound Sabah deputy chairman Simon Sipaun and Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong Sze Phin, who is also the MP for Kota Kinabalu.
12 Jun — 01:31 PM

New regulations to be introduced to ensure safety of climbers

Image via The Borneo Post

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced several aid and suggestions to boost security of climbers at the Kinabalu Park after seeing for himself the effects of the earthquake on Gunung Kinabalu, Ranau and Kundasang in Sabah.

"We want to see Mount Kinabalu remain a famous destination among local and international travellers," he said.

"It would be a loss to Malaysia and Sabah if activities on Mount Kinabalu were to stop," he added.
12 Jun — 01:31 PM

Najib announces RM10M fund to rebuild the quake-hit Sabah

Image via The Malay Mail

In his first visit to Sabah since a deadly quake that killed at least 16 people, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today a RM10 million fund to rebuild the damaged north Borneo state.

Najib, who had just returned from an official visit to Saudi Arabia last night, said the allocation was a token from the federal government to Sabah to clean up, rebuild and open up touristy Mount Kinabalu as soon as possible.

“We want to make sure it is safe to open up again so we can open up our heritage to future climbers,” he told a gathering of mountain guides, Sabah Parks staff and local community at Kinabalu Park hall here.

He had earlier received a briefing of the damages inflicted and the search and rescue operations in the aftermath of Malaysia’s worst quake disaster so far. “After assessing the damages, it is clear we will need to reconstruct the damages so Kinabalu Park can function as a world-famous nature attraction again,” he said.

Najib said that the state government made recommendations, including equipping all climbing groups and their guide with a walkie talkie to ensure constant communication with the park headquarters.

There is also a proposal to widen the current helicopter landing pad on the summit of Mount Kinabalu to make it easier for helicopters to land in emergency situations.

“We would also like to include the latest technology that can sense earth movements although there is no technology available in the world that can predict major earthquakes.

“What they can predict is smaller tremors and movements that suggests the possibility of an oncoming earthquake but this will be up to the experts to issue early warnings,” he said.
09 Jun — 02:58 PM

22-year-old civil servant arrested after throwing insults at Sabahans

Image via The Star

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Friday has drawn much reactions from a majority of the public, mostly heartfelt sympathies and words of encouragement. In the midst of this however, one particular Facebook post seems to stand out like a sore thumb

The man posted: "Kene gempa bumi bru nk kecoh ... Standard la negeri penuh sociality ... pub ... night club trbanyak di malaysia. Nak goyang sgt kan? Tuhan dh bagi goyang tu. Knapa takut plak?" (Only after an earthquake hit are you making a fuss. That's what happens to a state known for its social life, pubs and the most nightclubs in Malaysia. You wanted to shake so much, so now God has made the shake. Why are you afraid now?)

City police chief Assist Comm M. Chandra said the man was arrested at about 9pm, less than 12 hours after a police report was lodged against him.

"We seized a handphone and two Sim cards from the suspect and have recorded his statement for the investigations," he said. ACP Chandra said they would forward the case to the deputy public prosecutor as soon as possible for further action.
09 Jun — 03:09 PM

12-year-old Singaporean boy saw "teachers pulling everybody, putting their bodies on top of them"

Emyr Uzayr recovering at KK Women's and Children's Hospital in Singapore

Image via

12-year-old Tanjong Katong Primary School pupil Emyr Uzayr has spent the last two nights haunted by the fear of being caught and injured by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Sabah that he finds it hard to even close his eyes.

Mr Sadri Farick, 37, said his son Emyr's eyes would water when he gets flashbacks. He would suddenly grow quiet and stare out of the window, and when asked what he’s thinking of, Emyr would reply that he’s thinking of the screams and the blood of his friend's that he saw.

Emyr had witnessed the entire tragedy. He saw the teachers pulling everybody, putting their bodies on top of them, pushing them into bushes and trees. He saw how big the rocks are, how sharp they are ... (the memories) are very tough.

Psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors said professional help is crucial for those who continue to have nightmares and flashbacks of the accident, or have trouble focusing, for more than a few weeks.

“If the trauma is not processed and resolved, this sense of fear and helplessness may carry over into adulthood,” said consultant psychologist Elizabeth Ho from The Resilienz Clinic.

Another pupil Elliot Quok has been waking up several times during the night in a fright, jolted awake after shouting in his sleep from recurring nightmares. The Primary 6 pupil yelled so loudly he woke his mother, Ms Mae Molina, 43, who would jump out of bed in shock, and run to his bedside to comfort him.

Jeffrey Kitingan.

Image via The Malaysian Times

Bingkor assemblyman Jeffrey Kitingan has expressed disappointment that not only has the Federal Government given Sabah the short end of the stick in the wake of the earthquake last Friday, the national media has given the natural disaster scant coverage. He pleads to Sabah and Federal Governments to provide at least special post-trauma counseling for the victims.
08 Jun — 11:39 PM

[PHOTOS] 300 locals pay their respects at 'Cahaya Lilin di Bawah Bayu' vigil in the heart of KK

On Sunday, the city centre of Kota Kinabalu was filled with flowers, brightly lit candles and Josh Groban's popular song "You Raise Me Up" as folks came to pay respects to the Mount Kinabalu earthquake victims.

The event, called 'Cahaya Lilin di Bawah Bayu' (in reference to Sabah being known as Land Below the Wind), was organised by a group of local-based artists under Cracko Art Group who also painted a mural to honour the victims of Friday's earthquake.

The three artists, who go by the names Crako, Andy and Hegan, took two hours to complete the mural, finishing it by noon. Later in the evening, passers-by began gathering there - placing flowers and notes as well as lighting candles in a touching show of compassion.

From 7pm to 11pm, about 300 came to the location to pay their respects. The crowd also sang the Sabah state anthem, Sabah Tanah Airku during the impromptu candlelight vigil.
09 Jun — 03:12 PM

Singapore joins Sabah in a day of mourning to remember all 16 victims

Today flags will be flown at half-mast in Singapore to mourn the death of the six Tanjong Katong Primary School students, a school teacher and an adventure guide who were tragically taken by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake which hit Sabah on Friday, 5 June. A moment of silence will also be observed at the start of the day at all SEA Games venues.

Image via

They were among 30 pupils and staff from Singapore climbing Mount Kinabalu as part of an educational trip. A teacher and a student are still missing.

"On behalf of all Singaporeans, the Prime Minister expresses his deepest condolences and sympathies to their families and loved ones. As we grieve over the loss of these young lives, we also take heart that they were striving to stretch their limits and take on new challenges," a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office said.

Official Press Release from the Prime Minister's Office

Image via Lee Hsien Loong

Condolence messages posted on a board in memory of the victims in Singapore

Image via AFP.Roslan Rahman

My deepest condolences to all who lost loved ones in the Sabah earthquake. May you find the strength to recover from...

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman made the announcement on Saturday in view of the fatalities and injuries suffered from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake. He said all department and agencies are required to fly the national and state flags at half-mast. The national-level Kaamatan (harvest) festival, on Sunday had also been cancelled due to the quake.
07 Jun — 04:01 PM

7 M'sians, 9 S'poreans, and 1 each from Philippines, Japan and China among victims of Sabah quake

Image via The Star Online

Authorities today posted the names of the Mount Kinabalu earthquake victims in the search and rescue operations rooms at the foothill of the mountain.

The bodies of Robbie Sapinggi, 30, a mountain trainer and Wee Ying Peony, 12, a student from Singapore were brought down on Friday.

The full list of the 19 is as follows.


Lim Choon Seong, 45 (Male)
Muhammad Logman bin Abd Karim, 22 (M)
Mohd Khairuladzuan bin Abd, 39 (M)
Valerian Joannes - Mt Torq staff , (M)
Ricky Masarin – Mt Torq staff, (M)
Joseph Solugin –Mt guide, (M)
Robbie Sapinggi, 30 (M) - Mt trainer- (body recovered on Friday)


Rachel Ho Yann Shilin, 12, (Female)
Sonia Jhala, 12, (F)
Emilie Giovanna Ramu, 12, (F)
Ameer Ryyan bin Mohd Aded, 12, (M)
Navdeep Singh Jayral s/o Raj Kumar, 13, (M)
Mohammad Ghazi b Mohamed, 35, (M)
Loo Jian Liang Terrence, 29, (M
Muhammad Daanish b Amran, 22, (M)
Wee Ying Ping Peony, 12 (F) – (Body recovered Friday)


Karyl Mitzi Higuit Matahom, 12, (F)


Ozaki Masahiro, 29, (M)


Lugi, 35, (male)
07 Jun — 11:55 AM

Sabah quake: 7 earthquakes of 3.2 magnitude hits Kota Belud

Fire and Rescue Department personnel lifting remains of victims on Mount Kinabalu into the chopper.

Image via The Malaysian Insider

A 3.2-magnitude earthquake hit Kota Belud, Sabah at 7.35am this morning, said the Meteorological Department. The epicentre was about 25km southeast of Kota Belud and tremors were felt in Ranau, Bernama reported.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department also recorded three earthquakes near Ranau at 8.49am, 9.16am and 9.21am with magnitude of 2.9, 2.6 and 2.2 richter respectively. Three earthquakes earlier were experienced near Kota Belud at 6.58 am (3.2), 7.05am (2.9) and 7.35am (3.0).

"The worse is behind us and the aftershocks in Sabah are expected to die down in the next few days," said University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Prof Dr Felix Tongkul. He said the aftershocks should not be more than 4.0 magnitude that would continue for a few more days.

"The earthquake is along an active fault line which cuts across Ranau and Mount Kinabalu in a northwest-southeast direction and an earthquake occurs roughly every 25 years. The last one, a 5.4 magnitude tremor which hit Ranau in 1991, also had aftershocks which slowly died down in a few days," he said when contacted.
06 Jun — 01:48 PM

Sabah quake: 9 more bodies found on Mt. Kinabalu, pushing the death toll to 11

Rescue operations are under way to reach tourists trapped on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo island.


Rescuers have recovered nine more bodies on Mount Kinabalu, pushing the death toll following Friday's earthquake there to 11.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the mountain would also be closed for at least three weeks to enable a clean-up following serious damage to trails, accommodation and other facilities.

The nine bodies found on Mount Kinabalu.

Image via The Star Online

Two bodies were recovered from the 4,095-meter Mount Kinabalu late Friday, including a 30-year-old local guide and a 12-year-old female Singaporean student, district police official Farhan Lee Abdullah said.

Most of the climbers descended the mountain early Saturday, but 17 are still missing, he said. Twenty of the climbers suffered injuries including broken limbs and one is in a coma, he said.

Based on police records, the 17 missing include eight Singaporeans, and one each from China, the Philippines and Japan. The rest are Malaysians.

Several Mount Kinabalu guides carrying in injured climber to safety after an earthquake trapped over 200 climbers on the mountain.

Image via Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun's Twitter

On the closure of the mountain, Masidi said it would enable Sabah Parks to take stock of the damage and determine the necessary repairs that had to be carried out. "Our overriding concern has always been the safety of the climbers," he said, adding they were planning an interfaith religious ceremony on the mountain.

Pairin, the Huguan Siou or Kadazandusun paramount leader, said the ceremony would also include rituals of the ethnic community as well.
05 Jun — 06:18 PM

32 safely brought down from Mt Kinabalu while 122 climbers still stranded on the mountain

Two locals and one Turkey national, who were among 29 climbers brought down from Mount Kinabalu, were injured and receiving treatment at Ranau hospital. Turkey national Semiha Turkay, 35, broke her hip and left leg. James Mikol, 29, a mountain trainer injured his knee and hands. While mountain guide Robi Satinggi, 30, suffered injuries on his head.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said other 122 climbers were still on the mountain. "Police have launched ‘Op Gempa’ to search and rescue climbers. Earlier, we had sent two helicopters to the location but faced difficulty due to weather condition."

At least 10 buildings including schools, hospital, police station, banks, mosque and supermarkets in Ranau were damaged due to earthquake this morning. Ranau-Tambunan road was also damaged. Police beats at Tuaran and Kota Belud were also affected. Meanwhile, Jalaluddin also reminded public not to spread unverified pictures.
05 Jun — 02:48 PM

Sabah Quake: 5 climbers on Mt. Kinabalu feared dead after being hit by rockfalls

Some of the stranded climbers on Mount Kinabalu.

Image via The Star

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Ranau, Sabah early this morning may caused casualties at the summit area of Mount Kinabalu.

At least five people on the summit area might have been hit by rockfalls after the mountain shook for nearly a minute, reported The Star. Officials, however, declined to comment on the unconfirmed reports.

Bomba and police teams, including dog squads, were seen heading towards the park area while helicopters were being sought to airlift stranded climbers and mountain guides.

Most of the climbers were descending after reaching the 4,095m peak before sunrise when the earthquake struck at 7.17am, with boulders and rocks from the granite surface dislodging and rolling down rapidly.
05 Jun — 09:57 AM

A strong 6.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Kota Kinabalu and other parts of Sabah's west coast early Friday, 5 June. Fortunately, there are no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

08 Jun — 10:42 AM

The tremors shook buildings and rattled windows prompting people to run out from their houses, shops, and even at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport terminal

05 Jun — 08:37 AM

The Malaysian Meteorological Services Department said that the quake struck at around 7.17 am at a depth of 10 km, with its epicenter located 19 km from the town of Ranau and 54 km from Kota Kinabalu in the district of Sabah, The Star Online reported

Image via SAYS
05 Jun — 09:57 AM

Immediate damages caused by the earthquake could not be immediately ascertained. Meanwhile, Malaysia does experience earthquakes but is outside the Ring of Fire, a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean that includes neighbours Indonesia and the Philippines.

05 Jun — 02:40 PM

This is a breaking news story. Come back for more.

In 2013, a 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Kedah.

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