(By Bonny Apunyu)
A police chief, Mohamad Farhan Lee Abdullah from Malaysia’s Ranau district said on Saturday that two bodies were recovered Friday night following a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that hit Mount Kinabalu.
VOA says the earthquake which struck on Friday sent rubble and boulders down the slopes of Mount Kinabalu killing at least 13 people. The two bodies recovered Friday night reportedly includes a 30-year-old local guide and a 12-year-old Singaporean girl who was part of a group of 38 primary school students and two teachers from Singapore.
VOA says eleven more bodies were found Saturday but It was unclear of their nationalities. Most of the other climbers made it down the mountain in the darkness early Saturday, some with broken limbs and one in a coma.
About 60 rescuers and four helicopters were combing the mountain Saturday, where loose rocks and boulders that fell during the quake blocked part of the main route. VOA says at least 200 climbers were on the mountain when the quake hit after 7 a.m. local time (2300 UTC)) Friday. The quake damaged several buildings across Sabah state.
Malaysian Tourism Minister Masidi Manjun reportedly said climbing on the mountain will be suspended for three weeks to allow for maintenance work, and flags will be flown at half-staff in Sabah Monday to mourn the victims.