SA quake severely dangerous - US Geological Survey

Johannesburg - The US Geological Survey said on its website "Earthquake" that the earthquake experienced in South Africa on Tuesday was felt as far off as Botswana.

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One person has been reported dead in a 5.3 magnitude earthquake which struck six kilometres east of Orkney in the North West shortly after midday.

"This earthquake is severely dangerous because the epicentre is located right below Orkney and Klerksdorp," it said.

It reported that severe shaking was felt in Klerksdorp and there was an unconfirmed report of a building that had collapsed, where people were trapped.

Another report on the website said a school building in Klerksdorp shook so badly that pupils were thrown off balance.

"Our school has three storeys and I was in the middle when it shook. We dove for the door along with our geography teacher and we were told to evacuate the building," said a pupil on the website.

"We are on the football field, damage [was] done to multiple classrooms."

Another person on the website reported that two children were injured at an Orkney mine, and that buildings were damaged.

The Council for Geosciences could not immediately be reached for comment.


Earlier, ER24 confirmed that one person was reported dead following the quake.

"A 31-year-old man was found deceased in an old mining village in Orkney, in the North West," said ER24 spokesperson Luyanda Majija.

"He was found lying under some debris."

Emergency workers were at the mining village, searching for mineworkers presumed to be trapped in 11 shafts. Majija could not immediately confirm the name of the mine.

The tremors were felt in various parts of the country, shaking buildings, rattling windows and resulting in building evacuations.

People immediately took to social media to report it.

"Who else just felt the earthquake. That was a crazy... tremor," said Johannesburg resident Adrian Patrick on Facebook.

"Here in Durban too," responded Byron David.


Citizens from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal, North West, and Cape Town reported feeling the quake.

Sapa's reporter in Durban said people in the 32-storey Durban Bay House, one of the tallest buildings in the city, were evacuated.

Hundreds of people were milling around Anton Lembede Street where the building is located in the city centre.

"I felt it. I thought I was going mad. I stood up and saw my colleagues rushing out," said Lungelo Xaba, who works on 17th floor of the building.

Johannesburg emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the tremor was felt in most parts of the city.

"The city has not received any reports of injuries, or collapsed building. However we will be monitoring the situation."

Engineering geologist Oliver Barker told eNCA that it was an earthquake, and went into details about the history of earthquakes on the sub-continent.

Read more on: mahikeng earthquakes sa quake
Gerrit Cramer 2014-08-05 04:31:50 PM
Anything that happens in SA is "severely dangerous":)
Back2StoneAge 2014-08-05 04:33:25 PM
"This earthquake is severely dangerous because the epicentre is located right below Orkney and Klerksdorp," it said. Is that the only information we have from the US Geological Survey? They did not elaborate/expand further on this point in ANY way? It's basically a repeat of the article header. Nothing else in this article is pertinent to the header? Why is this so dangerous? Am I expecting too much by wondering why the body of this article does nothing whatsoever to shed light on the statement in its title?
Robert Sidney 2014-08-05 04:42:49 PM
I hope my fellow South Africans are okay up there. We feel and pray for you wherever or whoever you are.
Stuart Shaw 2014-08-05 05:03:04 PM
"The Council for Geosciences could not immediately be reached for comment."
Da Real Soul'd-chyld Thapong 2014-08-05 05:03:17 PM
I felt the tremour in Welkom,FreeState lasted 4 abt 2minutes
Tw Malemone 2014-08-05 05:05:21 PM
USA geological survey
Retief de Villiers 2014-08-05 05:12:42 PM
Who ever reported feeling the quake in Cape Town today must have been on something, because nothing was felt here
Tshiamo Gordon Mothobi 2014-08-05 05:14:59 PM
Are you gonna tell us what the geologist said about the history of quakes on the sub continent or do we have to beg?
Phillip Odendaal 2014-08-05 05:31:15 PM
Why the reporting on this so sketchy? You got locations being reported repeated and what about some time frames so we know when all this happened? How are Americans involved in this ?? what are facts ??
Andries Mangwale 2014-08-05 05:46:41 PM
Eish that for me it was a trauma cos I never expect quake like this during the day'it is a first time in my life experincing things like this,when it happen I was busy working on fourth floor,first time it was it like the contructors were busy with the machine,but second time I realize that something is wrong cos for the second time it come with power and I was to afraid and I runout of the hospital to ground floor,wht suprise me I was not alone runnning out of the building even patience with their wheelchair,it was traumatizing really????