The Western Cape Minister of Environmental Affairs, Anton Bredell, says recent seismic activity in Cape Town is no cause for panic.
Bredell says the African continent is on a very stable tectonic plate and there are no major fault lines.
His remarks come after two incidents of earthquake were experienced in Cape Town on Saturday night, about two hours apart. The Seismograph Network says the two incidents don’t seem to be related as one occurred in the sea and measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.
It occurred about 1 006 kilometres south-west of South Africa at a depth of 10 kilometres. However, no tsunami warning has been issued by the Indian Ocean Warning system.
Earthquake of Magnitude:6.2, Occurred on 26-09-2020, 22:40:24 IST, Lat: -48.02 & Long: 31.72, Depth: 10 Km ,Location: 1918km SSE of Cape Town, South Africafor more information https://t.co/kYbDvuefja pic.twitter.com/eaVHDhFqqS
— National Centre for Seismology (@NCS_Earthquake) September 26, 2020
Many Capetonians were left shocked and scared.
“I decided to sleep with my car keys in my hand last night, unlocked the doors for an easy escape. Everything shook, window, house….initially we thought it was like a plane that was passing and got a little too close to the homes, but the noise was a bit different to that. Actually the second time around my body was moving. I thought it was a huge truck coming past my house and then everything started shaking. Good luck to all of us… 2020 is fun,” says one Capetonian.
Chief Geologist with Gift of the Givers, Dr Gideon Groenewald, says destructive waves could occur on the coastline over the next ten days even though there are no tsunami warnings.
Groenewald says the cause is most likely the reshuffling of continental plates.
“It might be that these come from the mainone, that it just follows the fracture zone all the way through, but it might also be that the continental plated are reshuffling because of the major one in the ocean and that Cape Town sits on one of these zones that need to reshuffle and that’s why for the next ten days we must be wary of these little earthquakes. ”
Two other lighter tremors were felt on Sunday morning. The Council for Geoscience says in a statement there is no imminent threat to the affected area and no cause for panic.
The US Geological Survey, however, says more light tremors are still possible. There have been no immediate reports of damage in Cape Town.
Tremors felt in Cape Town post 6.2 magnitude earthquake:
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