Council pinpoints earthquake hot spots in Joburg, Cape Town and Bloem

2014-08-25 14:42

The Council for Geoscience is busy identifying earthquake hot spots in South Africa’s urban areas.

“We have already identified the hot spots 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 hot spots 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 and Bloemfontein were considered hot spots.

“What these hot spots 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 United States 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 Council for Geoscience said more tremors were expected to be felt around the country in the coming weeks and months.

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