Carla Coetzee
1 minute read
18 Aug 2014
12:35 pm

Earthquake ‘biggest’ ever experienced

Carla Coetzee

It is unlikely that South Africa would experience a mine related earthquake of a magnitude of more than 5.5.

Picture: AFP

The earthquake earlier this month was the biggest quake the country has experienced since 1969, measuring 5.5 on the Richterscale.

Dr. Ray Durrheim, an expert on mine induced earthquakes, said that it is unlikely that the country would experience an earthquake of a magnitude larger than 5.5 if it is induced by mines.

“But of course there’s no guarantee,” he said.

He added that even if all the mines were to be closed it is still likely to lead to mine induced quakes as the shafts will fill with water as soon as it becomes dormant.

Michelle Grobbelaar from the Council for Geoscience said they are still analysing some of the earthquake data from earlier this month.

“We know there was over 100 aftershocks and it was felt throughout the country,” she said.

She added that the largest aftershock was measured at 3.8.

Grobbelaar and Durrheim spoke at a seminar on earthquakes at the Counsil for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Tshwane on Monday.