Southern Cape quake 'sounded like plane'

2011-05-16 09:11

George - Residents of the Southern Cape have told how a light earthquake, which shook the region at about 16:10 on Saturday, sounded like "a plane flying low".

The tremor was felt for at least five seconds in towns like Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Sedgefield, George, Mossel Bay, Prince Albert and in the Langkloof, according to the website of the South African Weather and Disaster Information Service.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake had a magnitude of 4.3 on the Richter Scale and a depth of 5km.

No damages or injuries were reported by Sunday.

More insight would be gained about the earthquake on Monday, said Dr Gerhard Graham, head of scientific services at the Council for Geoscience on Sunday.

Southern Cape residents told on Sunday how they experienced the tremor.

Rina de Swardt, wife of George councillor Flip de Swardt, said she initially thought it was a plane that flew low over their house, or was a heavy truck driving by.

According to Desmond Scholtz, a photographer from Sedgefield, the cupboard doors in his bedroom suddenly started vibrating.

Roelien Gerber, a resident of Knysna, said it sounded like someone walking on the wooden deck of their house, “just more intense”.

According to Gerhard Otto, Eden disaster manager, no damage was reported.

- An earthquake that measured 5 on the Richter scale, shook the earth about 10km under sea level 2 130km south of Port Elizabeth in January.

- Did you experience it? Send us your stories and photos

  • Blip - 2011-05-16 09:15

    Only 4.3?

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-16 09:50

      Be glad it was only 4.3 japan is a top developed country with excelent rescue and recovery service records, and they're STILL struggling to recover from their recent quake. Just think of the cesspit that will develope if that was to happen here, with our "Gavament"? - 2011-05-16 10:24

      I think the whole grading systems does not give the average person enough information. As in Japan, where lower magnification sometimes caused more damage than higher ones that were deeper. Also, in New Zealand recently, the amount of damage done seemed far higher than should have been expected with that size earth quake. In other words, it may well only be a 4.3 but the amount of potential damage depends very much on the actual underlying terrain.

  • ? - 2011-05-16 09:17

    The end of time is nearing

      treasonvoice - 2011-05-16 09:32

      Actually, time will still keep going even when we're gone. Just saying.

      DerpyHooves - 2011-05-16 09:36

      >>implying that there weren't any earthquakes before this year

      Rapier - 2011-05-16 09:46

      The FACTS are - especially for those who are irresponsibly predicting the end this week are - there are thousands upon thousands of earthquakes annually, ranging on average from 18 major quakes to more than 2 million very minor ones per year (approximately 8,000 per day). On average, we can expect one exceptionally big one (with a magnitude of 8 or higher) each year.

      ? - 2011-05-16 09:54

      @rapier. exactly

      rushi.nortje - 2011-05-16 10:02

      Don't worry, I get what your saying and I believe that the end is indeed nearing ....

      Phlegm - 2011-05-16 10:03

      Who the hell are you "?", the holy ghost? - 2011-05-16 10:24

      Oh please !

  • Egg-Zachary - 2011-05-16 09:31

    The earthquake that happened in jozi not too long ago also sounded like a truck or plane! Now imagine a 9.0 going on for 2 minutes... Scary stuff! Draai of Braai people, turn or burn!

      Egg-Zachary - 2011-05-16 10:49

      haha, relax china!

      treasonvoice - 2011-05-16 13:26

      @JimBean: Ja, boet, relax. A guilty mind gets angry rather quickly. I think everyone needs a good chill pill in this country. People are getting rather worked up over a minor tremor. Anger doesn't actually help anyone.

  • - 2011-05-16 09:53

    And nobody jumped on the wagon to score new shacks? That is even more astonishing than the quake itself.

  • AdHoc - 2011-05-16 10:25

    KalahariB AdHoc Augrabies Earthquake. 18h27 Huge thump, shaking with loud roar. @sawdis @wellweather. 14 May Any word on this one? Was a definate Earthquake with a magnitude close to 5. Am finding no info on it but this was the first one here to cause structural cracks on my stoep and pillars as well as cracking open old ceilings and allowing a years of dust to rain down. The Geoscience website has not allowed access to the public since January, just after they all started. Why?

  • polymath86 - 2011-05-16 10:29


  • omikeimoes - 2011-05-16 10:37

    We experienced the same sensation here in the Kakamas and Keimoes area at about 18:30 on Saturday. It sounded like a lorry approaching at high speed and then came the tremor

      AdHoc - 2011-05-16 10:46

      Did you have a lot of rumblings that night as well? From Augrabies they sounded as if they were coming from your side?

  • Helen - 2011-05-16 10:46

    Don't get too excited, Jimbean. The Stupid will be with us always. End of Time, indeed. It's pathetic.

  • Chelsea - 2011-05-16 12:25

    To Jim Bean: correct, but the depth of the earth quake underground, or undersea affects the damage it brings. To clarify to all: South Africa is not on any edge of two continental plates, like Japan, NZ, etc are. The earth quakes we experience in the Cape are due to a Mantle Plume below the western cape which melts the surrounding crustal rock, causing small tremors. Elsewhere in South Africa, quakes are due to land falls underground because of mining activity and incompletely filled old mines caving in. Educated geology student of UCT, over and out ;)

      Krolie - 2011-05-16 19:34

      Tell us a bit more. For instance Koeberg being on a fault line...

  • Bergie - 2011-05-17 12:07

    Never felt it, my house is shaky on a calm day! Was busy in study and then my dog had this loooong mournfull howl. Thought he was dreaming. There was a tremor some months ago in the night. I was awake and thought its the old house acting up again... Anyways, the end is near... Yah, its serious. If the end is tomorrow, it will be ironic for the ANC at least. Prophet Zuma predicted they will be in power until the second coming of Jesus. It will be the final clinch that the ANC was "put in power by God." As for me, I'll still vote tomorrow, who knows the ANC may actually be wrong for a change... Hee hee. You think they choose the election to fall on rapture/second coming day and give us the day off to celebrate? Anyway. For those that's worried about tomorrow being the end, go to Beaufort West, its the safest place. They always seem to be five years behind!

  • gav.cowell - 2011-05-17 16:13

    And I thought it was that Malema dude talking kak!

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