Canadians who stripped blamed for earthquake

Kinabalu ParkTwo Canadian siblings as well as several other tourists are in hot water in Malaysia after stripping naked on top of Mount Kinabalu in Kinabalu Park on May 30th. Malaysian officials believe the group’s exposure caused a 6.0 magnitude earthquake on Friday that left 13 people dead more then a week after the alleged incident. Six more are presumed missing at this point.

The two Canadians are 23-year-old Lindsey Peterson and his sister, 22-year-old Danielle Peterson from Saskatchewan. The Malaysian government is preventing the two as well as several other tourists from leaving the country and they could be charged as soon as tomorrow. The other tourists are German national Stephen Pohlner, Dutch citizen Dylan Snel and Briton Eleanor Hawkins.

Locals of the area believe that the nude photo at the top of the mountain angered the mountain spirits, who retaliated with the earthquake. The tourists are also being accused of urinating on the mountain. Malaysians are expecting to host a spiritual ceremony to appease the spirits. Photos of the naked climbers, such as the one shown here, showed up on social media several days before the earthquake.

Poor weather conditions Friday prevented immediate rescue of the survivors, leaving people to fend for themselves in the cold. Approximately 75 tour guides have been credited with leading stranded climbers down the mountain to safety when helicopters failed to show up on the scene. Many of the trails had been blocked or destroyed by earthquake debris.

The earthquake caused damage to surrounding areas including the local hospital, which hindered the ability to treat the wounded from the earthquake.

Officials are calling this a “disrespectful act” towards the mountain, that led to the earthquake. They have closed the mountain to all climbing activity for now and expect it to remain closed for the next several weeks.

What do you think? Was the earthquake spirits reacting to the “disrespectful act” or was this just plate tectonics at work? ~Greg Chisholm

UPDATE: June 12, 2015.
Four of the travelers in question, including the two Canadians, were arrested Tuesday, held for three days in jail and found guilty of indecent exposure. The group was sentenced to time served and ordered to pay a $1900 fine.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. David Baillie • June 8, 2015 @ 6:05 PM

    Superstitious malarky

  2. j p • June 8, 2015 @ 8:15 PM

    Rightfully so , it only shows ignorance when something like this happens , maybe this particular mountain should never be climbed …and if so, MORE should be done to protect those who choose to enter the spiritual realm …MORE education is the key to making sure people understand what is really going on here, to say you read the signage and now respect the mountain for the sake of enjoying a climb and then once you reach your destination remove your clothes for a photo and publish it on social media is not enough education into spirituality in this case… i have encountered many situations of this nature and again it only comes down to what was being told at the time … my heart goes out to the families of those who lost there lives on that day … this certainly could have been avoided !!

    J P (spiritual advocate)

  3. Chelsea • June 8, 2015 @ 8:54 PM

    Is that a serious question you are posing?

  4. Red • June 9, 2015 @ 12:48 AM

    What a load of crap. Geologists have been forecasting a shift in the tectonic plates in the area for the last three year. the timing is ironic at best.

  5. Gwen Collins • June 9, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

    In today’s society, to believe that their actions actually caused the earthquake is ludicrous at best. Come on people, mother nature at her worse. Just unlucky to be at wrong place at wrong time. However, it is also very disrespectful of them to take nude pictures and urinate on what to the locals is a sacred site. Whatever happened to showing respect to other customs?! They should be charged with that, not causing the earthquake..

  6. melissa • May 28, 2016 @ 10:52 AM

    You have to be so careful traveling to some countries. They have no sense of fun! Insane there’s still people that think you can start an earthwuake. Peeing on the mountain? What else do you do when climbing?

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