After a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Sabah today, at least 8 primary school students from Tanjong Katong Primary School and their 2 teachers have become uncontactable. They had left for Mount Kinabalu on Wednesday for a leadership programme and were expected to return Monday afternoon.
Worried parents of the children were rushed into an emergency meeting with teachers this afternoon. One of the parents said that she received word from her daughter who was injured and on her way to hospital.
One of the parents, Mr James Ho, said that his 12 year-old daughter Rachel is one of the 8 students stranded along the Ferrata route on Mount Kinabalu, but he has received no news from them.
“This happened in the morning and it’s been more than 12 hours. And the frustrating thing is we are not getting any updates on the rescue operations”.
Another 19 students from the same batch have returned safely. 5 of the students and 1 teacher suffered injuries.
According to Sabah Parks director Jamili Nais, 38 Singaporeans were climbing Mount Kinabalu at about 2am to 3am on Friday when the earthquake hit.
“Up there, it is getting colder. We are in touch with the staff and in touch with some of the stranded climbers. It’s getting cold but the weather is slightly better now. Three helicopters are on the way to drop food and warm clothing,” Dr Jamili said. “But I’m really fearful because before long, it’s going to be very cold and tonight there’ll be hypothermia, so we are working very hard at least to drop the food and warm clothing as well as camping equipment,” he added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that most of the 100 Singaporeans in Sabah have confirmed that they are safe, but it is still trying to reach those who are uncontactable. A crisis response team has been dispatched to Sabah.