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Strong Earthquake Rocks Botswana, Sending Shockwaves Across Neighboring Nations

  • Gibbs Dube

Several countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) including Zimbabwe, on Monday evening experienced an earth tremor described by a seismologist as out of the ordinary.

According to Times Live of South Africa, quoting TMG Digital, reported the tremor measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale in Gauteng occurred earlier in the day in Krugersdorp on the West Rand of Gauteng before another one hit in the evening.

The media organization said it was felt in Illovo‚ Rosebank‚ Centurion‚ Roodepoort‚ Boksburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg, Botswana as well as Zimbabwe. The tremor lasted a few seconds at around 7:44pm.

Seismologist Ian Saunders of the Council for Geoscience said the tremor was "strong" by South African standards.

"It occurred about 2km down in the goldmine areas of Krugersdorp. We have received reports of the tremor being felt in Centurion."

He said the council had not yet received reports of damage.

According to other media reports, the tremor, which measured on the 6.5 Richter scale, occurred 132km W of Moijabana, Botswana, at 17:40:18.35 UTC on Apr 3, 2017.

Indications are that the earthquake was felt in Mozambique, Zambia, parts of Malawi and Lesotho.

Reuters reports that a strong earthquake struck in a remote region of Botswana on Monday near the renowned Kalahari game reserve, sending shockwaves across the southern African country though there were no early reports of casualties or damage.

It reported that the magnitude 6.5 quake's epicentre was nearly 250 km (155 miles) north-northwest of the capital Gaborone at a depth of 12 km (7 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Tremors were also felt in neighbouring South Africa. "We certainly felt (the quake) here in central Gaborone. The buildings ... were trembling," said, Botswana's chief government spokesman, Jeff Ramsay.

"We don't have any reports of casualties or damage yet but its a bit early to tell."

Kgosi Kgomokgwana, the traditional chief of Moiyabana, a village close to the epicentre, said: "This is the first time we have felt something like that in this area."

Some Zimbabweans in various countries, who responded to VOA Studio 7 and VOA Ndebele Facebook threads on the tremor reported that they felt it in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Beitbridge, Harare, Chinhoyi, Mutare and other parts of the country as well as in neighboring countries where they are living.

Here are some of the respondents, who reacted to our Facebook threads (unedited)

Tnash King Junior Mapfumo It happened whole of south africa no damages it was 5,2 magnitude this evening and in the afternoon it was 4,6magnitude it ddnt do any damages coz it was less than 10seconds there myt be a possibility of a after shock.

Joel Ncube Zoe in limpopo province, south africa we felt the shaking but no damages so far.

Desire Sibanda Was sitting at home in Thokozani flats Mzilikazi Bulawayo and had shaking which lasted over 45 seconds.

Daniel Makoni It happened this evening .I am @ work & suddenly it happened as if someone is moving a chair I am sitting on.I am in Harare CBD.

Harunashe Nyoni felt it in Magwegwe north Bulawayo......had stuff shaking in whole hse.

Sarah Bunhu In Mt Hampden , Harare Bunhu farm we just sew things shaking in the house no damages.

Tong Chadar Tiger Comando in masvingo province i felt it but my roommate didn't feel it😂😂😂.

Hon Henry Ngara Was due to 6.5magnitude quake happened in Mmopane Botswana.

Reggie Nyasha Manyarara In Marondera we just felt the shaking, no damages.

Johanna Davies felt it in greendale at 7.45. +/-

Mathew Chiruka Felt it in Masvingo,Chivi

Shelter Madondo We also felt the shaking and no damages in Waterfalls

Vincent Nemuramba It wasn't that serious.

Brian Chinyani Huge sound here in Byo, it was like a train passing by.

Remigio Usai It was caused by sanctions imposed by the British and it's allies. We are working hard to rectify the situation.

Medina Bhika No damages but felt it h-town.

Brian Chinyani Huge sound here in Byo, it was like a train passing by.

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