Govt help for quake victims

2014-08-06 00:00

STILFONTEIN — As the sun set over Khuma last night, at least one grandmother did not know where her family would sleep after yesterday’s quake.

The brick home of Ruth Moloya (54), her husband and their grandchild, which was solidly built in 1976, was declared unsafe after the ground turned into a sea for about a minute, cracking the house in several places.

Moloya said a neighbour had called her to say she must come home. “I was very sad when I got there.”

One man died when a wall at one of the shafts of Anglo Gold Ashanti’s mine near Orkney fell on him. The man’s identity could not be established last night.

Hundreds more homes were damages in the city of Klerksdorp as well as the towns of Stilfontein, Orkney and Khuma. Schools and businesses closed for the day.

The tower over Stilfontein’s city hall fell in and cracked the walls of the hall. In Flamwood in Klerksdorp many windows in a block of flats were shattered.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo visited Khuma yesterday afternoon with councillors from the Matlosana Municipality, which services the area.

The premier promised government help for Moloya and the hundreds more residents whose homes were damaged. He also told Moloya he would have food and blankets sent to her.

The residents, who are used to tremors caused by world’s deepest mines underneath them, said the quake was the worst in decades.

Annatjie Myburgh of the Oasis shop in Orkney said, “Everything shook, the floor moved up and down and our ceiling cracked.” Through it all, she and her husband just clung to each other. “It was the worst since 1974. People ran from buildings.”

John Kalaote, a security guard at the Vuyone Mawethu Secondary School in Khuma, said pupils ran screaming from the classrooms when the quake started. “The cars shook and their alarms went off.”

Two pupils from the school said computers fell off desks and ceilings fell in.

The tremors were also felt in Potchefstroom, but the city did not suffer serious damage.

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