Quake measured 5.5: SA council

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iol news pic Orkney earthquake rubble SAPA/ER24 A picture distributed by ER24 shows rubble from an earthquake in Orkney in the North West.The tremors were felt in various parts of South Africa, shaking buildings, rattling windows and resulting in building evacuations.

Johannesburg - The earthquake that struck the North West region on Tuesday was recorded as 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale, the Council for Geosciences in South Africa said.

The United States Geological Survey reported it being a 5.3 magnitude quake.

The council could not say why the US had a lower figure.

“It was a 5.5 magnitude quake,” said Michelle Grobbelaar, manager of the council's seismology unit.

“It occurred in the Stilfontein, Klerksdorp, and Orkney region and it was quite widely felt... as far as the Eastern Cape.”

She said more tremors and aftershocks were expected in the coming days.

“We are monitoring. It will continue for days, if not months,” she said.

“More tremors are expected. We can expect one of the same magnitude in future, we just don't know when. We cannot predict.”

In the event of another tremor, as a precaution, Grobbelaar said those who believed their life was in danger should take precautions and evacuate buildings to be on the safe side.

In 2005, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake had struck the same region, she said.

Tuesday's quake struck after midday, shaking buildings and rattling pictures and windows, resulting in some buildings being evacuated.

ER24 reported that a man was found dead following the earthquake.

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

“He was found lying under some debris.”

Emergency workers were at the mining village.

Sapa



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