'I thought the world was ending' - SA quake as it happened

05 Aug 17:56

"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.

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. - Sapa

05 Aug 17:55

What should you do after an earthquake, according to ER24:  

1. Establish if you have sustained any injuries. Check around you and try to see if anyone else sustained any injuries. If you can provide first aid, proceed to do so.  

2. Call emergency services for medical assistance if someone sustained an injury.  

3. If the building you are in sustained structural damage, even if you are unsure, evacuated calmly and quickly. (If possible)  

4. Try and listen to your local radio station for emergency or news updates.  

5. Do not enter any damaged buildings or areas. There might be debris lying around. Be very careful around broken glass and other items that can cause you harm. Do not take off your shoes.  

6. Stay away from beaches until the area has been announced as safe.  

7. If the area you are in has an evacuation or emergency plan, try and follow it.

05 Aug 17:52

5 things to do during earthquakes, according to ER24:

1. Stay calm.

2. Try and stay where you are. Use large and sturdy objects such as a big desk to crawl under. If you are in a building, try and stand with your back against the wall near the centre of the building.

3. Stay away from windows and outside doors.

4. Should you be outside at the time of an earthquake, look around you. Ensure you are clear from power cables or anything overhead that might fall on you. Do not stand near or against a building, debris might fall on top of you.

5. Use the stairs to evacuate premises (only when it is safe to do so)

05 Aug 17:25

Engineers are inspecting shaft infrastructure at two of AngloGold Ashanti's Vaal River mines, following an earthquake that has left seventeen employees injured.  

"Our priority is the safe passage of our employees from underground. Engineers are inspecting shaft infrastructure, and at those shafts where this work is complete, hoisting of people to surface has already begun," said AngloGold Ashanti spokesperson Chris Nthite in a statement. - Sapa

05 Aug 17:01 Reports just in that more tremors have been felt. Have you experienced the tremors? Heard of anybody injured? Or damage to property? Upload PHOTOS, upload STORIES,  or E-MAIL.
05 Aug 16:52

The Free State government evacuated all public servants from Bloemfontein's two tallest buildings during the earthquake on Tuesday.

"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. - Sapa

05 Aug 16:48

One person was killed and 17 injured when a 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit South Africa on Tuesday, causing scares in North West mining operations and evacuations in large parts of the country.

"For South Africa, a 5.5 magnitude quake is quite big but it’s not uncommon," said Herman van Niekerk, a structural geologist from the University of Johannesburg.

"It went on for about 20 seconds or so, but some people say they felt it for a lot longer," he told Sapa. The quake, one of South Africa's largest magnitude earthquakes in the past decade, was felt as far Mozambique and Botswana. The Council for Geoscience said its epicentre was in the Orkney region in North West province, where one person was killed.

"It occurred in the Stilfontein, Klerksdorp, and Orkney region [in the North West] and it was quite widely felt... as far as the Eastern Cape," said the Council for Geoscience's Michelle Grobbelaar.

She said more tremors, aftershocks and possibly a second quake of the same magnitude were expected in the coming days, but it was unknown when. "We are monitoring. It will continue for days, if not months," she said. - Sapa

05 Aug 16:46

Structural engineers were inspecting the Rustenburg municipal office building following an earthquake on Tuesday, the municipality said.

"The eight-storey building vibrated during the earthquake. The building was evacuated for safety reasons," said spokesperson Thapelo Matebesi.

He said acting municipal manager Marks Rapoo's advice was not to let workers back into the Missionary Mpheni building until it was assessed by engineers.

"The engineers will submit their report to the municipal manager today. Employees will come to work on Wednesday morning and only allowed in once is safe to do so."

The Council for Geoscience said the earthquake that struck various parts of the country was recorded at a magnitude of 5.5. - Sapa

05 Aug 16:45 News24 users Danny Govender wrote: “We felt it in Lotus Gardens – Pretoria West at approximately 12:20 to 12:25. There were two tremors the first one must have lasted approximately five to eight seconds and the second followed approximately two minutes later and lasted over 10 seconds. My kitchen cabinet was rattling at first I thought it might have been a low flying plane.”
05 Aug 16:42
05 Aug 16:31 UJ geologist tells EWN he believes the earthquake was triggered when an ancient fault was disturbed and it was pressure being released, tweets reporter Alex Eliseev.
05 Aug 16:19

News24 user Andile Msomi tells us: "I'm based in Durban but we also felt the earth tremor.

At first I felt my chair shaking but I thought 1 of my colleagues was behind me not until my desk started shacking too that when I realised that something was happening. People were phoning in to double check if we felt the same thing."

Did you feel the tremor in your area? Tell us where. Have you heard of anybody injured? Upload PHOTOS, upload STORIES, or E-MAIL.

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