Highly Unusual and Powerful M6.5 Earthquake Rocks Botswana Africa – Hours After South Africa Struck
BOTSWANA has been rocked by what appears to be its strongest ever earthquake – just hours after South Africa was also struck.
This afternoon’s earthquake has measured 6.8 on the Richter scale – a rare strong quake for Africa.
It is unknown whether much damage has been caused by the quake, which occurred at around 5.40pm local time (6.40pm GMT) at a depth of around 35km.
Luckily the quake’s epicentre struck an area with few inhabitants.
Users took to the Earthquake Report website to express their shock and describe their experience.
One, writing from the city of Letlhakane, said: “We felt the house was vibrating, all the window and door panels shaking heavily.
“We went outside and felt the same.”
A second, writing from Gaborone, said: “It wz very scary but there was no damage”
Another resident of the southern African country’s capital said: “So frightened.”
Quakes of this size are rare in Botswana, with geological experts saying it could be historically large.
LastQuake said: “Earthquakes in #Botswana are pretty rare. Nothing comparable in our catalogue over the last decades.”
The quake was also felt in neighbouring South Africa, which had experienced a 5.3 quake earlier today.
Tremors have now been felt in the country following the Botswana quake, while it was also felt in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and even as far away as Angola.
BNO News Reports:
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 has struck Botswana, with shaking felt across southern Africa, including South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Only few details were immediately available.
The earthquake, which struck at 7:40 p.m. local time on Monday, was centered about 44 kilometers (27 miles) east of Gope, or roughly 229 kilometers (142 miles) northwest of Gaborone. It struck at a shallow depth of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 6.5, making it the country’s largest earthquake ever recorded.
Shaking has been felt across southern Africa, with reports of tremors being felt in the capital Gaborone and neighboring countries, including in Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa. Shaking has also been felt in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
There was no immediate word on possible damage or casualties but we’re working to gather more information.
Computer models from the USGS show that as many as 25.8 million people across the region may have felt the earthquake, though the area near the epicenter itself is not heavily populated. An estimated 56,000 people may have experienced “strong” to “very strong” shaking, according to the USGS.
“Very scary and everyone in the house panicked,” a resident who lives in Gaborone told EMSC. Another resident, across the border in South Africa, added: “The ground was shaking for almost two minutes. Felt very strong.”
Monday’s earthquake is the largest earthquake to strike Botswana in modern history, surpassing a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the same region in September 1952. That earthquake was followed by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake just a month later.
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