Geologist says Mt. Kinabalu may have lost its height after the June earthquake
Is Mount Kinabalu still standing tall at 4,095 meters or is it now shorter?
According to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) geologist Professor Dr Felix Tongkul at a public talk on the Ranau earthquake at the UMS Recital Hall yesterday, the possibility of the mountain losing a bit of its height was not improbable but this would probably be just a few centimeters shorter.
Felix wanted to dispel wild theories circulating in the social media since the June 5 earthquake. “It was difficult to determine, despite advances in technology, where an earthquake would strike and when.”
“The reading of Kinabalu takes its cue from the exact location of the June 5 earthquake which was near the Mesilau Nature Resort in Kundasang, 20 metres from Ranau town. The earthquake was Richter 6 and not 5.9 as earlier reported,” said Felix. “In order to pinpoint the exact location of an earthquake, the readings from three stations must be taken and compared.”
Logically, he added, the mountain would have gone down within by at least a metre. “On the surface, this would show up as a few centimeters shorter. The mountain was still in the phase of experiencing aftershocks, 100 being recorded so far, as the fault lines extend all the way to Tuaran and the South China Sea.”
Early on 5th June, Sabahans woke up to a 6.0 magnitude earthquake
BREAKING: 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits 19kms northwest of Ranau, Sabah. No reports of any casualties or damage so far.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) June 5, 2015
Photos quickly spread on social media highlighting the aftermath following the earthquake
Mount Kinabalu was not spared from the tremors. Masidi Manjun, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment tweeted that the iconic Donkey's Ear may have been damaged.
This was later confirmed by a photo that spread on WhatsApp showing the before and after picture of the peak
Thankfully, there has been no reports of casualties although certain huts around the mountain were also damaged
Charlene, one of the climbers posted a status that they were being rescued by helicopter as they were not allowed to descend as there may be loose rocks following the tremors
Mountain guides have also geared up to rescue the remaining stranded climbers on the mountain
All climbing activities has been cancelled by Sabah Parks in light of the quake due to safety reasons
Sabah Parks cancels all climbing activities at Mt Kinabalu today for safety reasons. Loose stones & boulders are falling due to the tremor— Masidi Manjun (@MasidiM) June 5, 2015
Sabah Parks has cancelled at climbing activities at Mount Kinabalu today following the quake earlier due to safety reasons. State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun informed this in his twitter account at 8.39am today.nst.com.my
Meanwhile, some noted that the earthquake may have been caused by the group of tourists that posed nude and urinated on top of the mountain a 3 days earlier