Malaysian officials have blamed the 5.9 magnitude earthquake near Mt. Kinabalu, which triggered a massive rockfall and according to reports has killed at least 18 people, on a group of hikers who posed naked for a photograph on the summit.
Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and is a popular hiking destination among tourists. Tremors following Thursday’s earthquake shook so strong that one of Kinabalu’s famous Donkey’s Ears was broken off. The 137 hikers that were stranded on the mountain when large rocks and boulders blocked the trail have been safely led down by local mountain guides who came to their rescue and led them down through the debris of the devastated landscape using ropes, when bad visibility made air rescue impossible.
The 10 hikers that posed nude on the mountain, which locals hold sacred and believe is the final resting place of their ancestors, are being blamed for the disaster and some of the nude hikers are being barred from leaving Malaysia and will likely face charges.
The incident serves as a reminder for those travelling of the importance of respecting local beliefs and customs.