Can earthquake aftershocks hit Gauteng? This is what the Geoscience Council says

Here’s what to do if you experience another Earthquake. Image: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Here’s what to do if you experience another Earthquake. Image: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Published Jun 12, 2023


Conversations, both online and in person, centred on the 4.4 magnitude Earthquake that awoke many people living in Gauteng in the early morning of Sunday.

The Council for Geoscience confirmed that an earthquake, registered at a local magnitude of about 4.4 as recorded by the South African Seismograph Network (SANSN), occurred in Gauteng at about 2.38am on Sunday.

While some said they were awoken by the sudden “rattling” of their homes, others said they had slept through the tremor.

Following its statement confirming the Earthquake, the Council of Geoscience spokesperson Mahlatse Mononela said that while they could not predict earthquakes, they do know from experience that larger seismic events may be accompanied by aftershocks.

However Mononela added, “This said, we cannot say with absolute certainty whether these will occur in the East Rand”.

The Boksburg area in the East Rand is considered to be the epicentre, a few kilometres outside the East Rand Propriety Mine in Johannesburg.

One IOL reader, Ryan Malan said although he was currently in KwaZulu-Natal, he was awoken with a “weird buzzing” in his head at around 2.32am on Sunday. A message from his wife, in Roodepoort in Johannesburg, at that time informed him about the Earthquake.

“My family and I live in Roodepoort North. I am currently on holiday in Umkomaas, KZN. I woke up at 2:32am with a weird buzzing in my head, lay in bed for a few minutes or so and then checked my phone, which was on charge at the other side of the room.

“My wife WhatsApp'd me saying that our home was shaking and our live-in nurse said it sounded like a helicopter was landing on the roof. They were very shaken (no pun intended), but what I found strange was that I didn't physically feel it but sensed it,” Malan said.

Another IOL ready, Olga Britareva said she felt the tremors of the Earthquake for a few seconds but it was not the shaking building that scared her.

“I live in Windsor West in Randburg. At that time I wasn't sleeping and all of a sudden, the house started to shake. It lasted only two to three seconds, but immediately the rats on a roof ran like elephants. It was even more scary than the trembling of the house itself,” she said.

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