Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

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Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Overlandman » Fri 05 Jun, 2015 8:55 pm

From ABC

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-05/s ... lu/6525684

A powerful magnitude-6.0 earthquake has struck near Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu on Borneo, cracking roads and buildings in the region and injuring climbers on the popular peak.

The US Geological survey said the epicentre of the quake, which struck at around 7:15am local time at a depth of 10 kilometres, was about 54 kilometres from the state capital of Kota Kinabalu.

The New Strait Times said at least four climbers had suffered injuries including broken bones and head wounds as the quake loosened stones and boulders on the mountain's wide granite summit.

Authorities have ordered an estimated 200 climbers and at least 40 local guides to stay put at the summit due to lingering danger from falling stones and because rockfalls had rendered at least one key descent route impassable.

Fire and rescue officials said the climbers included both foreigners and Malaysians, according to local news reports.

"Rescuers operations underway at Mt Kinabalu," Masidi Manju Manjun, Sabah's minister for tourism, culture and environment, said in a post on Twitter.

Mr Manjun said the force of the tremor was so strong that it snapped off one of the two "Donkey's Ear" rock outcroppings that form a distinctive part of the mountain's peak.

The mountain has been closed for climbing until further notice.

One climber, identified as Charlene Dmp, posted pictures of hikers on top of the mountain.

"Currently we are waiting for the helicopter to save us," she said.

Colin Forsythe, a resident of Kota Kinabalu, said the quake felt "as if a truck had crashed into a brick wall".

He said the quake lasted around 15 seconds.

Local media reports said residents fled in terror from homes in the region as well as from Kota Kinabalu's International Airport.

There were no reports of major damage or injuries from the earthquake elsewhere in Sabah.

Major earthquakes are rare in Malaysia, which lies just outside the Ring of Fire, the belt of seismic activity running around the Pacific basin.
'Spirits angered by nude photos'

Mount Kinabalu is sacred to the local Kadazun Dusun tribal group, considered a resting place for departed spirits.

A group of 10 apparently Western men and women angered locals last weekend when they snapped nude photos at the summit and uploaded them on the internet.

Some Malaysian social media users posited that the quake was a sign the spirits had been angered by the act.

Authorities have not yet publicly identified the Caucasian-looking tourists or their suspected nationalities. Media reports have said they already had left the country.

Thousands of people complete the relatively easy climb to the summit each year.
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Zone-5 » Sat 06 Jun, 2015 1:32 am

Overlandman wrote:they snapped nude photos at the summit... Authorities have not yet publicly identified the Caucasian-looking tourists...


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:roll: ...you would have thought the above cloud view would have been enough!
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby north-north-west » Sat 06 Jun, 2015 10:26 am

Some people can't help being bogans. :roll:
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Overlandman » Sat 06 Jun, 2015 5:02 pm

ABC Update

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-06/1 ... lu/6527264

The strong earthquake that jolted Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu killed 11 people and another eight are missing on South-East Asia's highest peak.

Sabah state's tourism minister Masidi Manjun said rescuers brought 137 hikers down to safety after an earthquake had stranded them atop Mount Kinabalu on Friday.

"As at noon time, 11 bodies have been recovered, 2 identified, and 8 people are still missing," Mr Masidi tweeted.

"Police forensic team have arrived to assist."

The magnitude-6.0 quake struck near the picturesque mountain, a popular tourist destination, early on Friday, sending landslides and huge granite boulders tumbling down from the 4,095-metre peak's wide, jagged crown.

The quake, one of the strongest in the country in decades, shook a wide area of the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island, shattering windows, cracking walls, and causing other relatively minor damage.

Climbers from 16 countries had been on the peak, including 117 Malaysians, 38 Singaporeans, five Americans, four Dutch, three British, two French and two Australians, said the public relations officer for Sabah fire and rescue department, Mohd Affendy Ramin.

There were also tourists from Belgium, Thailand, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, India, New Zealand, South Korea, Denmark and China.

Their names were released on the Sabah Parks Facebook page.

Fifty-two climbers were rescued on Friday.

"The 137 climbers have safely arrived at the Park HQ, the last batch at 2:50 am (1850 GMT)," Mr Masidi said on his Twitter feed.

The stranded climbers had been stuck on the picturesque mountain for up to 18 hours, their descent blocked by damage to a key trail and the threat of continuing rockfalls.

On Friday, Singapore's education ministry had said the whereabouts of eight students and two teachers from the country - who were part of a school excursion to the mountain - remained unknown.

Distinctive 'Donkey's Ear' sheared off by quake

Malaysia's Bernama news agency quoted an elderly couple describing their terror when the quake unleashed a shower of large stones from the rocky peak.

"Rocks were raining down fast, like rock blasting," Lee Yoke Fah, a 60-year-old Malaysian who suffered minor injuries, was quoted saying.

"I am not going to climb again, I am scared."

The force of the tremor was so strong that it snapped off one of the two large "Donkey's Ears", towering twin rock outcroppings that form a distinctive part of the peak's craggy profile, officials said.

The US Geological Survey had said the quake's epicentre was east of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, and near the mountain.

No major damage was reported in the city, but the quake sent residents of the region fleeing in panic from homes and buildings, including Kota Kinabalu's International Airport, according to witnesses.

Authorities have indefinitely halted all climbing on Mount Kinabalu, which looms over a state famed for its rainforests, wild rivers and coral reefs, and is among its central tourism attractions.

Thousands complete the relatively easy climb each year, with most taking two days round-trip.

Most reach the peak at dawn to watch the sunrise, and the summit was busy with climbers when the quake hit at 7:15 am local time.

Mount Kinabalu is sacred to the local Kadazan Dusun tribal group, who consider it a resting place for departed spirits.

Malaysian social media users speculated that the quake was a sign the spirits were angry after a group of 10 apparently Western men and women tourists last weekend snapped nude photos at the summit and uploaded them on to the internet.
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Zone-5 » Sun 07 Jun, 2015 12:42 am

Overlandman wrote:Malaysian social media users speculated that the quake was a sign the spirits were angry after a group of 10 apparently Western men and women tourists last weekend snapped nude photos at the summit and uploaded them on to the internet.


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Sounds like the Fat Canyoners on a group holiday? :oops:
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Overlandman » Sun 07 Jun, 2015 4:56 pm

From ABC

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-07/a ... ke/6527618

Australian climber Vee Jin Dumlao was atop Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu when a magnitude-6.0 earthquake hit. When her group was left stranded by rescue officers, they decided to make the perilous journey down themselves.

It was supposed to be a quiet dawn climb.

Leaving at 2:30am for the top of Malaysia's Mount Kinabalu, Borneo's tallest mountain, a group of 137 climbers — including two Australians — reached the peak's granite plateau at dawn, and had expected to be back at Laban Rata for breakfast.

But at 7:30am, that plan abruptly changed.

"We had just completed the ascent to the peak, and [we were] making our descent, taking some photos when we heard a loud crash, and felt the ground shaking," Vee Jin Dumlao, a clinical psychologist from Sydney, told the ABC.

Though Ms Dumlao felt calm at first, panic set in when the group was told that the magnitude-6.0 earthquake that rocked the mountain had destroyed their route back.

"When our guide took our empty water bottles to be refilled, at perhaps 1:00pm ... they came back with news of massive landslides and the route having been decimated and no certainty of rescue," Ms Dumlao said.

The Malaysian rescue officials said they were making an effort to reach the climbers, but could not land a helicopter due to poor weather.

"Fog was quoted as the reason for not rescuing the climbers, that was certainly true earlier in day," Ms Dumlao said.

"However, around about 3:30pm the sky actually cleared right up, from ground level up to the mountains and that's when we thought there's nothing stopping them now from coming to get us.

"When the clouds lifted all the guides got a phone call from ground level to say 'alright the helicopters are coming'. We prepared ourselves, we organised ourselves into groups but nothing happened."

Despite the clearer weather, the climbers and their guides were told by officials that they would not be evacuated until the next morning.

"We were not equipped for an overnight stay, it was an open place, we couldn't huddle along any walls, because that's where the risk of landslide was worst," Ms Dumlao said.

"Many in the group were already getting hypothermia, it was very cold up in the mountains, it was starting to rain at some point, some of the climbers were already getting wet and we hadn't eaten since 1:00am that morning.

"And that's when the guides said 'they're not coming, we'd better make our way down the mountain ourselves'."


After being told, nine hours after the quake hit, that no help would be coming until the next morning, the freezing, hungry climbers were forced to make the perilous journey down the mountain.

"When we saw that all the conditions were right for the rescue and yet they had made the position that they were not coming, I was both angry but also determined to make it down on our own," Ms Dumlao said.

Ms Dumlao and her travelling partner made the perilous trek, followed by the other climbers, down to Laban Rata, a small village rest stop halfway up Mount Kinabalu.

"There were continuing tremors, continuing rustling of trees and continuing landslides that we could hear in the distance and it was quite fretful really, the potential of being caught in a landslide," she said.

The Malaysian government reported 13 people were killed in the disaster, and for Ms Dumlao the sight of death all around was confronting.

"When I saw the corpses, lying uncollected in the rock fall, that was probably the point when I realised that things were actually very, very bad, and fear set in," she said.

Arriving at Laban Rata, Ms Dumlao saw uniformed rescuers milling around the "chaotic scene".

"They were looking rather lost really, and it was the mountain guides who did most of the work attending to the injured, strapping people into stretchers, getting ready to take them down the mountain," she said.

"The whole government emergency response was a farce."

She said the effort appeared disorganised, and without helicopters, the rescue officers were of little help, stuck on foot and five hours away from the mountain's peak.

"They congregated in groups occupying resting spaces, sharing smokes and food that were meant for survivors," she said.

"A convenient helipad remain unused when they could have transported rescuers to the foot of the peaks. Instead "rescuers" arrived at 4:00pm, nine hours after the earthquake struck, on foot, much too tired to be of help."

Ms Dumlao said many more people could have been helped, and deaths may have been prevented, had helicopters landed in Laban Rata.

"If the helicopters had delivered some help earlier and landed in the helipad at Laban Rata, they may certainly have been able to attend to any injured people quite sooner," she said.

After seven hours trekking in the freezing dark, through treacherous rain and mountain-rattling tremors, the climbers reached the trek's starting point Timpohon. Upon their arrival at 12.30am, the site was strewn with medics, military and media.

All members of Ms Dumlao's group made it to the mountain's base safely. But she says emergency services let her, and many Malaysians down.

"I cannot find evidence for me to respect the government who have all the conspicuous demonstration of responsibility but none of the true act of it," she said.

"It was quite appalling when the rescue services got credit for something they did not do at all."

Ms Dumlao said she was "so grateful" to mountain guide Jomius, who helped the trekkers to safety.

"The journey we took required the engineering of the guides who made abseiling equipment from the bare resources at hand," she said.

"The mountain guides were the heroes. They risked life and limb and made some difficult decisions that ultimately saved our lives, and had neither help nor recognition from the authorities.

"Many had homes affected in the quake. They lost friends and family yesterday. Yet they remained with us guiding us to safety till the very end."

She said she appreciated that the guides could have saved themselves much faster without the slow-moving climbers.

"Yet they stayed and did what they could to meet our needs," she said.

"I have great regard for the people around Mount Kinabalu who are defined by their culture spirituality and most of all their care for people."
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Overlandman » Wed 10 Jun, 2015 7:06 pm

Update from ABC

Sad about the Students from Singapore :(

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-10/f ... al/6536344

Malaysian authorities have detained four tourists - two Canadians, one Briton and one Dutch national - for allegedly stripping naked on Mount Kinabalu, an act some locals say angered tribal spirits and caused a deadly earthquake.

Pictures of 10 naked tourists had spread on social media and infuriated locals following the magnitude-6.0 quake that struck near the mountain on Friday, killing 18 people.

Six other tourists are still apparently at large, according to police.

"We detained all four of them on Tuesday... and yes we are still searching for the other six tourists, and we will catch them," Sabah police commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said.

He said those detained could be charged for causing public nuisance.

Sabah provincial tourism minister Masidi Manjun tweeted that legal proceedings against the four foreigners had begun and that they would be remanded for four days.

Earlier it was reported a 38-year-old European man was arrested for allegedly stripping naked and urinating on the mountain prior to the earthquake.

It is unclear whether the man was among the four arrested.

Friday's quake sent landslides crashing down from Mount Kinabalu's summit just as more than 150 hikers were at the peak enjoying sunrise views.

Mount Kinabalu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular climbing destination, is considered sacred by Malaysia's Kadazan Dusun tribal group who believe it is a resting place for spirits.

Eighteen people have been confirmed dead on the mountain, with a significant number of them young students from Singapore who were on a school excursion.

In the wake of the disaster, Malaysian social media users and some Sabah officials have focused on the nudists, suggesting that their actions angered the spirits and led to the earthquake.

But Mr Manjun said the idea that the tourists' actions had caused the earthquake was "misconstrued".

"I never said that they actually caused the earthquake but their actions were against the people of the largest tribe in Sabah," he said.

"The mountain is a revered and sacred site."

He said a traditional interfaith cleansing ritual is expected to take place at the mountain site soon involving Muslims, Christians and tribal leaders.
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby keithy » Thu 11 Jun, 2015 4:28 am

Overlandman wrote:Sad about the Students from Singapore


So terribly sad about the primary school kids. I understand they were at the Via Ferrata section and some were hooked in or waiting their turn when it hit.

I'm still in Singapore now, having changed my trip to Sabah and Miri meant for this week. Up to yesterday a student and teacher were still missing, but today the news had reported that their bodies were found and identified through fingerprinting and personal belongings.

I don't think anyone really draws a causation between the stripping idiots and the earthquake, but some of these nufties have no respect at all. One of them has posted crap on social media. After swearing and cursing at the mountain guide who asked them to stop urinating and stripping.

"Oh, Malaysia, why are your politicians so stupid," Kaminski wrote on Facebook.

"Some deranged prick has linked earthquakes and mountaintop nudity.

"Well, apparently I am responsible for the 2015 Nepal quake, and whatever incoming quakes in Canada (as well as Thailand, India, China, Taiwan, Hongkong, and a variety of other countries...)," he said, while posting a picture of him exposing his naked behind at various other mountain tops.

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/s ... ister-idio
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Re: Climbers stuck on Mt Kinabalu

Postby Zone-5 » Tue 16 Jun, 2015 4:51 am

The naked truth is that 2 got arrested and sentenced to 3 days jail (suspended) and their passports were stamped "Never to return"!
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