Earthquake hits South Africa, kills one

A photo of an earthquake used to illustrate the story

17 people were injured.

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck South Africa killing one person and injuring at least 17.

The tremor occurred near Orkney, west of Johannesburg where there are many gold mines. Most of those injured are miners.

A man in his 30s died after a wall collapsed on him, emergency officials said.

Several miners who were initially believed to have been trapped, were later found safe, officials said.

South Africa has a high mining activity, but is not particularly prone to earthquakes although the area affected this time is said to have a history of mild tremors.

The country’s largest earthquake to date was recorded with a magnitude of 6.3 in the Western Cape town of Tulbagh in 1969, the BBC reported.

Tuesday’s earthquake was felt in neighbouring Mozambique and Botswana, the paper adds.

The tremor struck after midday, shaking buildings and shattering glasses in high-rise buildings. Power was temporarily interrupted, but has since been restored.

The South African Council for Geoscience said the quake measured 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale, while the United States Geological Survey said it measured 5.3.

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