The aftershocks of a large earthquake which struck Botswana were felt as far away as Gauteng on Monday night.
The quake‚ which was initially measured at between 6.3 and 6.5 on the Richter Scale‚ struck just before 8pm‚ about 250km away from the capital Gaborone.
It was felt across Limpopo‚ Mpumalanga‚ North West and large parts of Gauteng‚ shaking buildings. Suburbs in Johannesburg where the tremor was felt included Illovo‚ Rosebank‚ Centurion‚ Roodepoort‚ Boksburg and Pretoria.
TMG Digital reported that an earth tremor measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale had occurred earlier in the day in Krugersdorp on the West Rand of Gauteng in the mining town of Stilfontein. That epicentre was 2km underground.
Ian Saunders‚ a seismologist at the Council for Geoscience‚ said Monday evening’s quake was a “serious” one.
“That is a big magnitude. We are currently assembling teams to be dispatched to Botswana. There are already teams heading to the earthquake zone from earlier in the day.”
He said at this stage it was unknown if it was linked to the earthquake in Klerksdorp. “We are currently awaiting reports of damage‚ injuries and possibly deaths.”
The aftershock was reportedly felt as far away as Durban.
What should you do during an earthquake?
ER24 offered some tips after the second tremor struck on Monday evening:
• Stay calm.
• 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. You should try and stay away from windows and outside doors.
• 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.
• Use the stairs to evacuate premises (only when it is safe to do so)
What should you do after an earthquake?
• 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.
• Call for medical assistance if someone sustained an injury.
• If the building you are in sustained structural damage‚ even if you are unsure‚ evacuated calmly and quickly. (If possible)
• Try and listen to your local radio station for emergency or news updates.
• 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.
• Stay away from beaches until the area has been announced as safe.
• If the area you are in has an evacuation or emergency plan‚ try and follow it.
• Expect aftershocks.