KOTA KINABALU - It may take months, even years, for villagers at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu to be safe from landslips and mudslides following the June 5 earthquake that killed 18 people, said Universiti Malaysia Sabah geologist Dr Felix Tongkul.
The place, now scarred from the quake, was a danger to the nearby villagers, he said.
"Due to the tremors on the mountain, landslides have occurred and if tremors continue with more rain, then we will expect to see more landslides.
"The landslides can choke the river upstream. This poses a danger to riverside villagers downstream.
"The mountain is now scarred and appears to be weeping after heavy rain," he said.
Tongkul said it was unclear how long it would take for the earth on the mountain to settle following its loosening during the earthquake.
He said the villagers should be on guard at all times in view of the risk of more land and mudslides.
The aftermath of the quake resulted in mudslides that destroyed houses and water supply being cut off in Ranau.
However, the situation has improved with the authorities coordinating evacuation and restoring water supply, among others.