KUNDASANG, Malaysia - A Malaysian doctor, who managed to return to the Mount Kinabalu base camp, has confirmed that at least one person died and two others injured following the earthquake.
Pahang-based Dr Rezlan Abdul Rahman, who was descending from the mountain, said one woman was dead after he felt her pulse.
"Two other women with her were also injured.
"They were still at Laban Rata as we proceeded to come down,'' he said.
Dr Rezlan said he was told that the three women were on the ropes when the quake hit, and the ropes came loose from the mountain.
"They were apparently swung out before hitting back to the mountain," he added.
Initial reports indicated that at least five were killed or injured.
The Malaysian Meteorological Services Department said the 5.9 magnitude quake struck 16km northwest of Ranau at 7.17am on Friday.
The US Geological Survey put the Richter scale at 6. No tsunami warning was issued.
It said that the strong quake struck at a depth of 10km, with its epicentre located 19km from the town of Ranau, and 54km from Kota Kinabalu.
Apart from the state capital, the tremors were felt in the northern Kudat and Kota Marudu districts, and as far away Beaufort in the south.
The tremors shook buildings and rattled windows prompting people to run out from their houses, shops, and even at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport terminal.