Thousands of KwaZulu-Natal residents from Umhlanga to Underberg were left shaken, literally, on Thursday when they experienced what has been described as a tremor.
No injuries or deaths were reported, and the tremor was quantified as 3.7 magnitude. Experts classify tremors that register between 3 and 3.9 as non-severe.
The movement lasted for about 10 seconds with social media users posting about it from Underberg and Nottingham Road in the KZN midlands, to Umhlanga on the north coast and Isipingo on the south coast.
The KZN department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) called for calm after the tremor.
“We are concerned about the tremors we experienced in the province. So far our disaster management teams have not received any reports of injuries, deaths or damages. We are appealing to residents to remain calm. Our province has in the past experienced similar incidents. It is important that we remain calm,” said Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka.
According to the Council of Geoscience, the tremor occurred 72km southwest of Durban.
The organisation’s communication officer, Mahlatse Monela, said that the tremor was in no way related to the 6.5 earthquake that hit the south Asian country of Philippines, killing five people and leaving many injured on Thursday.
“Furthermore, the CGS would like to assure the South African public that there is no cause for panic as earthquakes are a rare occurrence in that affected area. This said, the nature of earthquakes cannot be predicted,” said Monela.
Hlomuka said that disaster management teams would be on alert.
“Our disaster management teams are monitoring the situation closely and are ready to intervene in any part of KZN with speed should it become necessary. We would like to reassure citizens of the province that we have activated all our systems and are working with the National Disaster Management Centre to ascertain any damages and the extent of the incident. We will respond to any findings swiftly,” he said.