Social media went haywire on Tuesday after an earth tremor was felt for about a minute shortly after midday in Johannesburg. The tremor measured 5.3 on the Ritcher scale, spreading as far as Rustenburg, Bloemfontein, Durban and Cape Town. One death was confirmed in Orkney, North West, when a man was found under the debris of a collapsed wall.
There were also reports that miners were trapped in 11 shafts in Orkney. ER24 spokesperson Luyanda Majija said most miners from various mine have been brought to the surface.
The cause of the tremor is suspected to be acid mine drainage from the surrounding mines.
Although buildings shook and office equipment rattled, no one else suffered any injuries nor has any property been damaged.
“We were in the building and it started to shake…it was quite scary,” said Radio Islam reporter Faizel Patel.
SAPA news agency quoted a North West University professor who said the earthquake was the worst in recent Potchefstroom history. The SA Council for Geoscience said aftershocks are expected following Tuesday’s quake.
The hashtag #tremor and #earthquake trended for a few hours social media on Tuesday afternoon, as locals took to the Twitter to relate their experiences. Some tweeters said the tremor was felt in Botswana.
One user, Nikita Dehal shared: “Earth tremor in Jhb?!!! What is going on? My computer and feet are still shaking.”
@RobinVermeulen1 tweeted: “Felt it in Durban! No jokes!”
“Even the earth shook when it found out @WoolworthsSA is still selling Israeli products #Boycott Woolworths #earthtremor,” said Yusuf Talia.
There were also the lighter, more humorous comments.
“Okay, do it again. Was on the phone and didn’t really pay attention. Only realised when it was over. #Tremor,” tweeted political journalist Ranjeni Munsamy.
@PoppyIsMyName tweeted: “We could Pallo Jordan this and all act like qualified seismologists…. That #tremor was about 4 on the Richter scale …surely ? LOL!”
@mariusl46 wrote: “Wanted to rock one ladies world and half of SA ended up feeling it. #BOOM”
@SVillage added to the stream of jokes: “Who ate the curry last night! Come on guys! #tremor #earthquake” VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)