KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of people fled homes and buildings as a powerful 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Ranau at 9.06pm on Thursday.
Over a hundred climbers at Mount Kinabalu were immediately evacuated from their hostels that were located close to the 4,095 summit to a safe area minutes after the earthquake struck the district.
"All are safe in Mount Kinabalu. They have all gathered at the assembly area," Sabah Parks director Jamili Nais said in an immediate response to the incident.
Police and firemen and other agencies are combing through the Ranau district to check on damages and any casualties though immediate checks found no serious damage within the areas.
"Everything started shaking and lasted a few seconds. I just ran out of my chalet. It was very strong," said Lee Kuat Hou, a guest at Taman Kinabalu in Kundasang.
A Ranau civil servant S. Jocelyna said that the three seconds or so of shaking were very violent.
"My homestay was shaking very violently. I am still shocked and it's really frightening," Tracy, a guest at a Kundasang homestay.
As of 10pm, both police and Bomba said there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties as they continue to receive feedbacks from various areas.
While Ranau and Kundasang area felt more violent shakes, it could not be immediately ascertained if there were rock falls or landslides at Mt Kinabalu summit or areas around it.
In June 2015, 18 climbers and guides were killed in the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the western side of Mount Kinabalu and triggered severe damages across Ranau and Kundasang which is still recovering in its aftermath.
The latest earthquake tremors were also felt on the western face of the Mount Kinabalu from Kota Belud, Tamparuli, Kiulu and the city here while residents in areas like Penampang and Papar also reported feeling the tremors.