Strong earthquake hits South Africa, no miners trapped

Strong earthquake hits South Africa, no miners trapped

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook buildings in Johannesburg and surrounding areas in South Africa's most populous province Tuesday, leaving at least one dead and three people injured.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the seism was centered in the gold-mining town of Orkney, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of Johannesburg, fuelling rumours of miners trapped underground.

A falling wall of a disused mining building hit the person who died, Luyanda Majija, a spokeswoman for emergency responders working in the area told SAPA. The tree people hurt were inside a training centre at a mine, she added.

Mine managers ordered the evacuation of workers from shafts and after about an hour they were able to confirm there were no miners trapped.

Strong earthquake hits South Africa, no miners trapped

Quakes are a concern to mining companies that operate around Johannesburg, the biggest city in Gauteng province.

The quake was also felt in the country’s capital Pretoria and in Hartbeespoort, a nearby resort town.

The area has periodic, moderate tremors, but Tuesday’s quake was one of the strongest in the southern Africa region since a 7.0 tremor hit Zimbabwe in 2006.

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