We're lucky to be alive - Orkney resident

Orkney - "I thought the world was ending," were the words Mamosa Melato used to describe her experience of the earthquake that hit South Africa on Tuesday.

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Melato was in her house, and her husband and son-in-law were sitting on the veranda, when the entire area of Orkney started shaking.

"I ran outside and saw the ground cracking. The toilet seat was dislodged from the plumbing system and water was everywhere," she said.

Bricks from the veranda fell where her husband and son-in-law were sitting and Melato said they were lucky to be alive.

Melato's neighbour was also affected by the earthquake. Ruth Molojwa was at work when she got the call telling her of damage to her house.

"When I got off the taxi, I saw my house destroyed. The bricks destroyed everything inside my house," she said.

Emergency personnel cordoned off both houses. While outside, two aftershocks were felt and residents were told not to enter their houses.

"The aftershocks really frightened us," Melato said.

Meanwhile, the Free State government evacuated all public servants from Bloemfontein's two tallest buildings during the earthquake.

"The director general of the Free State Kopung Ralikontsane ordered all public servants immediately to evacuate the government buildings, go home and report for duty the next day," said government spokesperson Mondli Mvambi.

The earthquake struck after midday, shaking buildings and rattling pictures and windows.

The Council for Geoscience said the quake measured 5.5 magnitude.

Mvambi said Ralikontsane ordered the province's structural engineers to investigate the safety of all government buildings, including hospitals, throughout the Free State.

Tremors were felt in Bloemfontein, Welkom, Thabong and Kroonstad.

Mvambi said the government's evacuation plans in the city's highest buildings were executed without any problems.

The buildings are the 23-storey provincial government building, the former CR Swartz building and the Lebohang building of 12 floors.

Djembe Ndebele 2014-08-05 06:39:08 PM
Thank God, some idiots are sad that it didn't kill blacks as they always wish.
Andre Jansen Van Vuuren 2014-08-05 06:46:06 PM
Djembe Ndebele. ...... where do you fall out again? News 24. Please remove that racist statement.
Mr T. 2014-08-05 06:46:54 PM
God is angry that since 20 years in democracy blacks are still poor and those who have jobs still get the cursed salaries from apartheid regime,,
Tina Butler 2014-08-05 07:08:41 PM
Get a grip. This has been the third quake of this magnitude since I relocated to Klerksdorp in 1979. This is earthquake country thanks to the mining industry. Fortunately it should never get worse than this. Be thankful you are not living in California, Japan or New Zealand.
Siphamandla Radebe 2014-08-05 07:14:25 PM
When Thuli Madonsela revealed that our Pres home in Nkandla has earthquake measures most of the news 25 trolls said there would never be a quake in RSA Zuma wasted money nywe nywe nywe where are you today?