05 June 2015 by Anna Staford
More than 130 climbers were forced to stand put right where they were after a strong earthquake in Malaysia earlier today. A 6.0 magnitude quake struck one of the South Asia’s highest mountains called Kinabalu.
Rescue operations started immediately but the helicopters could not land because of bad weather conditions. Climbers have been told to stay where they are without trying to come down due to the falling rocks danger.
The earthquake epicentre was 54 km from the mountain Kinabalu at a depth of 10m. The mountain’s height is 4,095m making it very popular among travellers. Unfortunately, its iconic part called ‘Donkey’s Ear’ was seriously damaged and lost its former appearance. Climbers are attracted to this mountain and its challenging routes with cables, bridges and special metal rungs set into the rocks to help them ascend.
The state minister said earlier today that while the rescuers are trying to organise a safe way down for the trapped climbers, the priority is to send food, drinks, warm clothes and basic medicines to help them. The route to the mountain top and back down usually takes 2 days and one night, so the climbers are not likely to have much of extra resources.
The FCO warns against all but necessary trips to the region struck by the earthquake. If you or your relatives have been affected and need any sort of assistance, contact the FCO representative on +603 2170 2200.
Always remember to check the FCO’s travel advice before leaving. Monitor your travel destination’s weather conditions to be ready to cancel your trip in case of any natural disaster. Also, take out travel insurance that covers trip cancellation to protect your budget from unexpected booking losses.
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