CGS identifying urban quake hotspots

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iol news pic Quake 3 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS A damaged house after the 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the North West earlier this month . File picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - The Council for Geoscience (CGS) is busy identifying earthquake hotspots in South Africa's urban areas, it said on Monday.

“We have already identified the hotspots of South Africa, however we are planning to work on a smaller scale, specifically in the urban areas,” seismology unit manager Michelle Grobbelaar said.

“We plan to identify the hotspots within the urban areas in order to help mitigate future disasters due to building damage during an earthquake.”

According to the council's map, the areas around Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein were considered hotspots.

“What these hotspots indicate are the areas where one can expect higher levels of seismicity,” said Grobbelaar.

“Thus, there is a higher chance that we can experience earthquakes in these areas as opposed to the other areas which are not highlighted (on the map).”

A 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit South Africa on Friday.

At the time the US Geological Survey said the quake occurred 12km west of Orange Farm, a township south of Johannesburg.

However, Grobbelaar said the quake hit Carletonville, about 70km away, at 1.14am.

The two major aftershocks were a 3.2 magnitude one at 1.15am, and a two magnitude one at 1.16am.

Earlier this month, a 31-year-old man was killed in a mining village near Orkney, North West, when a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region.

At least 34 miners were injured, and more than 600 houses damaged.

At the time, the CGS said more tremors were expected to be felt around the country in the coming weeks and months.


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