KUNDASANG (Sabah), (June 25 ) — Mount Kinabalu is expected to be reopened to climbers in early September, said Sabah Minister for Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
The mountain, which stands at 4,095 metres, was closed to climbers following an earthquake in the state on June 5 that claimed the lives of 18 people comprising climbers and mountain guides.
Masidi said, however, the number of people on the mountain at any one time would be reduce by about half, from 192 to about 90, in the early stages of its reopening to climbers.
“The safety of climbers is of utmost priority. We do not want to take a risk by maintaining the number as in the past,” he told reporters after handing over contributions to the victims of the June 5 earthquake.
The earthquake, of magnitude 5.9, caused rocks and boulders to tumble from the mountain, killing the 18 people, and damaged property in the district of Ranau and surrounding areas.
The minister handed over RM2,000 aid to each of 90 victims of the earthquake at the event organised by the National Security Council. He said the aid had been pledged by the government to the people in the area of the earthquake.
Sabah state secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman and Sabah NSC secretary Mohd Rodzi Md Saad were also present at the function.
Masidi also said that work, with the aid of technical expertise, was going on to restore the climbing routes and any delay would be due to the aftershocks.
“The aftershocks continue to occur and, up to yesterday, 91 aftershocks have been recorded,” he said.
He said the Sabah Parks management would provide updates on the restoration work on the website, www.sabahparks.org.my.– BERNAMA