Johannesburg -

A disaster relief fund account has been opened to assist the families affected by the 5.5 magnitude earthquake which hit the North West province this week, the provincial government said on Wednesday.

The public and interested organisations who donated to the fund would assist the provincial government in delivering aid effectively, the department said in a statement.

A report compiled by a team of engineers assessing affected areas was expected to be completed by next Friday.

“It is this assessment report that will direct government on which areas to urgently concentrate on,” Premier Supra Mahumapelo said.

“We remain highly committed to help in rebuilding the houses destroyed, repairing the affected public buildings, and restoring calmness in particularly Khuma location, Stilfontein, where more than 600 families have been affected by this occurrence.”

Vuyani Mawethu Secondary School, Borakanelo High School and Straatvaal Primary School were some of the many highly affected public buildings in the area.

Park Street and Stilfontein clinics were closed indefinitely, while Botshabelo Community Health Centre, Umuzimuhle Clinic and Grace Mokhomo Community Health Centre were slightly damaged but operational.

The earthquake rocked the province and was felt in large parts of the country on Tuesday. The epicentre was in the Stilfontein and Orkney region.

Khuma township near Stilfontein was the hardest hit.

One person was killed and at least 34 miners were injured during the quake. At least 600 houses were destroyed.

People in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Northern Cape reported feeling the quake, as did people in neighbouring Mozambique and Botswana. - Sapa