3.8 weekend quake in KZN ‘not problematic’

2016-02-09 10:52

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Pietermaritzburg - Saturday's tremor in KZN was rated 3.8 on the Richter scale and was the eighth tremor in the country since the beginning of the year.

This according to information published on the South African Council for Geoscience’s website yesterday, which found the tremor to have originated off the Umhlanga coastline.

The depth of the quake was “fixed” at five kilometres. A “fixed” depth is an estimated depth rather than one that is pinpointed accurately.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, University of KwaZulu-Natal geologist Professor Stephen McCourt said the magnitude of the quake is “not problematic”.

“There is nothing irregular that I could see in the report sent by the Council of Geoscience,” McCourt said.

At about 11 am on Saturday, lasting no more than 10 seconds, the tremor was felt in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and towns along the coastline.

However, Saturday’s quake was not the first — seven other tremors have been felt throughout the country since the beginning of 2016.

Although they were reasonably smaller on the Richter scale, the Council of Geoscience has recorded tremors in Gauteng, the Western Cape, the North-West province and the Free State.

Five of the eight quakes emanated from gold mines.

The last time KZN felt tremors was during the 5.5-magnitude Orkney earthquake in August 2014.

The epicentre of that earthquake, which left one person dead and more than a dozen injured, was recorded in the North West and it could be felt as far as Mozambique and Botswana.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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