Residents across the Western Cape were shocked and confused when they woke up to a tremor in the early hours of Tuesday morning [November 17]. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the tremor was confirmed at Saldanha Bay on the West Coast.
The magnitude of the tremor was measured at 3.5 on the Richter Scale, which is viewed as “minor” and should not be strong enough to cause damage.
The tremor is believed to have originated approximately 40 kilometres outside of Saldanha Bay, and had a depth of five km.
Cape residents reported feeling the tremor in areas such as Claremont, Tamboerskloof, Kuils River, Noordhoek and Maitland.
Some residents of the Western Cape reported feeling tremors later on Tuesday morning as well, while others poked some fun at the suggestion that the Western Cape secedes from the rest of South Africa.
“It sounded like a big bass drum in the distance,” one social media user commented.
“Felt it in Simon’s Town,” another said.
That wasn’t an Earthquake that was the DA trying to detach the Western Cape from the rest of South Africa
— Sanveer Sing (@sanveer_sing) November 16, 2020
This is one of many seismic events that have rocked South Africa this year. On Saturday, September 26 a 6.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of Africa, and no damage was reported. Another tremor was felt shortly after and then again on Sunday morning. Some said the tremor on Sunday morning was stronger than the night before.
On October 1, residents of Gauteng felt another shake and it was confirmed to be a 2.8-magnitude tremor. The epicentre was around 5km South-East of Randfontein, in the West Rand of Johannesburg.
Residents can report any damage at 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.