We're lucky to be alive - Orkney resident

2014-08-05 18:34
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Orkney - "I thought the world was ending," were the words Mamosa Melato used to describe her experience of the earthquake that hit South Africa on Tuesday.

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Melato was in her house, and her husband and son-in-law were sitting on the veranda, when the entire area of Orkney started shaking.

"I ran outside and saw the ground cracking. The toilet seat was dislodged from the plumbing system and water was everywhere," she said.

Bricks from the veranda fell where her husband and son-in-law were sitting and Melato said they were lucky to be alive.

Melato's neighbour was also affected by the earthquake. Ruth Molojwa was at work when she got the call telling her of damage to her house.

"When I got off the taxi, I saw my house destroyed. The bricks destroyed everything inside my house," she said.

Emergency personnel cordoned off both houses. While outside, two aftershocks were felt and residents were told not to enter their houses.

"The aftershocks really frightened us," Melato said.

Meanwhile, the Free State government evacuated all public servants from Bloemfontein's two tallest buildings during the earthquake.

"The director general of the Free State Kopung Ralikontsane ordered all public servants immediately to evacuate the government buildings, go home and report for duty the next day," said government spokesperson Mondli Mvambi.

The earthquake struck after midday, shaking buildings and rattling pictures and windows.

The Council for Geoscience said the quake measured 5.5 magnitude.

Mvambi said Ralikontsane ordered the province's structural engineers to investigate the safety of all government buildings, including hospitals, throughout the Free State.

Tremors were felt in Bloemfontein, Welkom, Thabong and Kroonstad.

Mvambi said the government's evacuation plans in the city's highest buildings were executed without any problems.

The buildings are the 23-storey provincial government building, the former CR Swartz building and the Lebohang building of 12 floors.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  bloemfontein  |  sa quake

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