Monday 26 June 2017

6.5-magnitude quake shakes southern Africa

6.5-magnitude quake shakes southern Africa
(AFP 04/05/17)

A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck the southern African nation of Botswana on Monday, US seismologists said, with the tremor felt in several neighbouring countries.

The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 7:40 pm (1740 GMT), was in a sparsely populated area 238 kilometres (about 150 miles) northwest of Botswana's capital Gaborone, the US Geological Survey said.

It struck at a depth of 29 kilometres, and rumbled throughout the capital for about 30 seconds, an AFP correspondent said.

In a statement published on social media late Monday, the government of Botswana said no deaths had been reported.

"We felt the house was vibrating, all the window and door panels shaking heavily. We went outside and felt the same," a resident of Letlhakane, a village in Botswana near the epicentre, told the Earthquake Report website.

The quake was also felt in several cities in South Africa as well as in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, several hundreds of kilometres from the epicentre, witnesses said.

In central Johannesburg, two buildings were evacuated as a precaution, according to media reports.

"My whole bed was shaking. It was so scary. I didn't know what was happening," a resident of Durban, on the southeast coast of South Africa, told the News24 agency.

Earlier Monday, a smaller quake with a magnitude of 4.6 was recorded in northwestern South Africa.

Strong earthquakes are rare in southern Africa, though in 2006 Mozambique was hit by a 7.5-magnitude quake that killed four people and injured 29.

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