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08 Feb 2016

KZN earth tremors not so unusual

(Daily News)

The Umhlanga beachfront in KwaZulu-Natal. The weekend earthquake measured 3.8 on the Richter scale. Photo Credit: Marilyn Bernard, Independent Media.

The earth tremor that had Durbanites all shook up on the weekend was likely not an aftershock of the deadly Taiwan earthquake, as was rumoured.

Project manager at the Council for Geoscience, Michelle Grobbelaar, said tremors were quite common in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said the tremor – estimated to have measured 3.1 on the Richter scale – that rippled through Durban on Saturday was unlikely an aftershock of a Taiwan earthquake that killed 12 people.

Social media sites have been abuzz with theories on the cause of the tremor, with many linking it to the Taiwan earthquake.

Grobbelaar said the large distance between South Africa and Taiwan made it unlikely for aftershocks to reach here.

“These plates are huge, so if one moves, it does take a long time for the other one to respond. We are quite far away from the African Plate Boundary, so we have not seen enough evidence to support these theories.”

She said because KZN had had quakes in the past, more tremors could be expected in the future.

“The first one I can remember in our catalogue was in 1932. There was an event off the coast of St Lucia that derailed an entire train. So it is not an uncommon thing.”

 

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