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Mini-earthquake shakes Zambia

by Staff Reporter
10 Jan 2016 at 11:47hrs | Views
A mini earth quake has hit Zambia over the week end amid fears of an impending serious natural disaster.

Zambia Daily Mail reported that a number of international geographical organisations and Zambian citizens were on Saturday morning reporting experiencing an earthquake which the United States Geographical Survey estimated to be 4.6 in magnitude.

The, regarded as one of the best independent earthquake-reporting sites in the world, said on its website around 04:00 hours that a moderate earthquake was experienced in Zambia.

It encouraged all those who experienced the earthquake to report on its website as "your experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership".

There was response from some.

"My wife had to wake me up and we hurried downstairs. There was a deep grumbling sound, similar to a construction vehicle [road roller] passing. Unusual as the house is 30 metres from the road. The rumbling sound did not change pitch or volume. No damage. ‘It was a giant,' according to our son. The last earthquake shook the house, this one did not," someone wrote from Lusaka.

Another one from Lusaka posted: "Woken up by my wife in the early hours of Saturday, 9 January 2016. Weak vibrations. I could hear it more than feel it. Having experienced a much more significant and violent quake in Indonesia a few years ago, this one did not scare me one bit. More worried about the existing cracks that may be worsened on the walls of our Lake Kariba hydro power dam!"

According to the US Geographical Survey, earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called micro-earthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs.

Events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater - there are several thousand such shocks annually - are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs [an instrument that measures and records details of earthquakes], such as force and duration all over the world.
Online geographical sites were reporting that the earthquark struck 31 kilometres from Chirundu whose epicentre was at a depth of 10km. The tremor was felt in most parts of Lusaka and Southern provinces of Zambia.

Chishala Mbewe, a resident of Chirundu, said he heard the tremor when he was preparing for a trip to the Copperbelt. He felt as if his house was falling due to the rains experienced at the time.

"It was the sort which made the windows shake, the furniture shift a bit and the cups rattle. Oh, and you could hear this huge rumbling as well. My mum just started calling on the name Jesus Christ until the whole thing calmed down. I can admit that today, that 10 seconds was the longest in my life," he said.

And Rachel Hiikampa of Mazabuka said that she heard it around 04:45 and that she was very scared and thought the last days predicted in the Bible had come.

"I was very awake when it started. The plate on my bedroom desk was shaking. I even wanted to run outside but just stood in shock and called my neighbour, who woke up from a deep sleep," she said.

Local authorities were not immediately available for a comment.

Source - Zambia Daily Mail