No more powerful earthquakes expected in SA

Experts say they don’t expect another big earthquake in SA like the one that shook SA this month.

Some of the rubble from the earthquake in Orkney. Picture: Twitter @ER24EMS

JOHANNESBURG - While earthquake experts predict South Africa will continue to experience seismic events for as long as mining takes place, they don't expect many as powerful at the recent 5.5 magnitude quake that shook the country earlier this month.

Seismologists and engineers gathered in Pretoria on Monday at an earthquake seminar hosted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The quake earlier this month killed one person when a wall collapsed and caused damage to buildings amounting to millions of rands.

Wits University seismologist Professor Ray Durrheim says its unlikely South Africa will experience an event greater than the 5.5 magnitude quake in Orkney, but we should still be prepared for such an event.

"Should we get one of these rare events, it could overwhelm the resources that we have and that's why it's very important to ensure that our disaster agencies are well coordinated. These are rare events but if they could happen they could pose a significant hazard."

The Council for Geosciences's Michelle Grobler says the event took place at about five kilometres below the surface.