Sabah quake: Villagers at Mount Kinabalu foothills still tremble with fear

Sabah quake: Villagers at Mount Kinabalu foothills still tremble with fear

KUNDASANG - Life in the villages and towns at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu is slowly returning to normal but with considerable worry.

"I will never forget the day I felt the ground tremble. Even now I can feel it when the vehicles pass near my home," said Jacky Mait of Bundu Tuhan, a village directly below Mount Kinabalu.

His fears were shared by villagers at the Kundasang roadside stalls which has also been shaken by more than 50 tremors since the June 5 earthquake.

They tell a similar story of having sleepless nights these days and several of them carry a bottle of water and keep some instant noodles in case of another earthquake.

"Kita takut gempar besar boleh jadi lagi. (We are scared another quake will occur)," said a vegetable seller.

The earthquake rocked the whole of Ranau district, severely destroying the mountain top as well as causing structural damage to buildings, including schools, the hospital, police station, chalets and mosque.

Sabah Parks is having difficulty assessing the property and trail damage on the mountain.

Its director Dr Jamili Nais with several officers, tried to land a helicopter on Laban Rata (3,314m) to assess the damage but had to abort due to bad weather.

Park officials said the Panar Laban (3,314m) and Layang Layang (2,702m) huts were smashed by falling boulders.

They said the climbing routes were cut off and the buildings in Laban Rata, including Guntung Lagadan Hut and Sayat Sayat huts, were cracked.

"Engineers will be brought in to assess the building structures to see if they are still safe to use," said an official.

Apart from structural cracks at the Ranau police barracks, two teachers' quarters at two secondary schools - SMK Ranau and SMK Agama Mohamad Ali - were among 33 schools affected.

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