Last Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2015

Earthquake Kota Kinabalu: Strongest quake since 1976 kills 19

At least 19 people have died on Mount Kinabalu following an earthquake in Sabah region of Malaysia.

"The death toll from Friday's earthquake at Mount Kinabalu is 19 with the recovery of 17 bodies on top of the mountain on Saturday," The Star Online has written quoting Search and rescue (SAR) officials.

The Kota Kinabalu earthquake 2015 has been considered as the strongest to affect Malaysia since 1976. According to The Malaysian Insider, current earthquake broken the strongest earthquake record set in 1976, when an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale hit Lahad Datu.

Fatalities include nine from Singapore, six from Malaysia and one each from Philippines, Japan and China. The bodies were airlifted by helicopters and were send to Kota Kinabalu.

Among them, five students and one teacher are from Tanjong Katong Primary School. A Singaporean adventure guide, Muhammad Daanish bin Amran, who accompanied the students, has also been identified, Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore confirmed.

MOE and other government officials are in Kota Kinabalu, and are providing assistance and support to the families during the difficult period.

The strong earthquake caused several rock fall in the mountain sending people fleeing from buildings in the nearby state capital of Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the state of Sabah, located in East Malaysia.

The 2015 Kota Kinabalu earthquake struck Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia with a magnitude of 5.9 on Friday June 5, 2015. According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the quake's epicenter was located 16 km northwest of Ranau, Sabah. It was 33.5 miles deep.

The tremor was felt in most places in Sabah, including Ranau,  Tambunan, Pedalaman, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Belud, Sabah. Dozens of  fake photos of Kota Kinabalu earthquake went viral after magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit the region.

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