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Two climbers die in Malaysia quake

Published 05/06/2015

Helicopters are being prevented from landing in the affected area because of poor weather conditions and the high altitude
Helicopters are being prevented from landing in the affected area because of poor weather conditions and the high altitude

A earthquake has struck near south-east Asia's highest mountain, killing two climbers, injuring 11 others and stranding more than a hundred people on the peak, Malaysian officials said.

The magnitude-5.9 quake was centred north west of Ranau district in Sabah state on Borneo at a depth of 34 miles, Malaysia's meteorological department said.

Local media said rescuers recovered two bodies from 4,095-metre Mount Kinabalu, believed to be a local guide and a 12-year-old female Singaporean student.

Sabah police chief Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman confirmed two fatalities but could not give further details.

Sabah Parks director Jamili Nais said several injured climbers had been brought down the mountain.

Most of the 137 stranded people were cautiously trying to descend with the help of park rangers and guides, and some were expected to reach base camp early tomorrow, he said.

Some were foreigners, but it was not clear how many.

The climbing route was apparently blocked or made dangerous by rocks and boulders loosened by the quake and small aftershocks, Mr Jamili said.

Helicopters were unable to land because of bad weather and the high altitude, he said.

The quake damaged roads and buildings, including schools and a hospital on Sabah's west coast.

State tourism minister Masidi Manjun tweeted that it also broke one of the twin rock formations on the mountain known as the "Donkey's Ears".

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