Rescue operations are under way to reach tourists trapped on one of South East Asia’s highest mountains after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck.
There are 137 people stranded at the mountain top and villagers nearby have joined rescue team to try reach victims.
Tourism Minister, Masidi Manjun tweeted an update on the correct number of people. He had earlier tweeted that the count was 160.
Correction update: the number of people stranded at the mountain top- 137. Villagers nearby have joined rescue team to try reach victims.
— Masidi Manjun (@MasidiM) June 5, 2015
Around 160 are stranded, some injured, on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island, said the state’s tourism minister. Masidi Manjun said on Twitter that the track was impassable and helicopters could not land due to bad weather.
All climbers have been told to stay put because of the danger of falling rocks.
All climbing activity on the mountain has been suspended.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake happened around 07:15 local time (00:15 BST), at a depth of 10m (32ft). The epicentre was 54km (33 miles) from Mt Kinabalu.
Mt Kinabalu, which stands at 4,095-metres, is popular with climbers from around the world.
Many are attracted to the challenging via ferrata climbing route, where cables, metal rungs and bridges are set into the rocks on the steep terrain to help people ascend.
Mr Masidi said that rescuers were still trying to reach climbers.
“Other than ongoing rescue efforts our priority is to send food, drinks and warm clothing to those still stranded at the mountain,” he said.
The force of the tremor, which struck earlier on Friday, was so strong it snapped off one of the two “Donkey Ear” rock formations, he said.
One person apparently trapped on the mountain, Charlene Dmp, said on Facebook: “Currently we’re waiting for the helicopter to save us.
“We cannot go down for now because there are lots of stones falling, there’s no safe route down, and there are still tremors. Thank you for all your concern and prayers.”
The New Straits Times cited Sabah Parks as saying they believed that some of the climbers and guides trapped on the mountain were injured.
“There are 105 to 109 estimated including climbers, guides and a Sabah Parks officer trapped but this was not on the dangerous area, so we advised them not to move for fear of falling rocks,” said parks director Dr Jamili Nais.
He said a group of about 40 people were also trapped in another area “where four people suffered injuries such as broken limbs [arm and leg] and head injuries”.
The Malaysia Insider had earlier reported more than 200 foreign and local climbers were stranded, with 89 unaccounted for, citing the Sabah Fire and Rescue Department.
There were no reports of major damage or injuries from the earthquake in other parts of Sabah.