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Lunga Biyela, News24
Johannesburg - An earth tremor measuring 2.8 on the Richter Scale was felt in parts of Johannesburg at about 19:30 on Wednesday.
"The earthquake lasted for only a few seconds because it was a sudden release of energy in the earth," Michelle Grobbelaar, the unit manager at the Seismology Department at the Council of Geoscience told News24.
"As with all earthquakes, they are caused by a build up of stresses within the ground, which eventually get released along a weakness, usually a fault," she said. "What the exact cause of this particular earthquake is a topic for further research," she said.
Grobbelaar said they are aware of the number of abandoned mines in the Johannesburg area and will be conducting investigations through further monitoring of the area.
"We want to find out if these mines could be connected to earthquakes in the area," said Grobbelaar.
She did add that more than 80% of all earthquakes recorded by the South African National Seismograph Network (SANSN) occur in the mining regions of South Africa.
"There are a large number of earthquakes recorded in these regions per year, but they are usually of a small nature (not more 3 in magnitude)," she said.
"The Council for Geoscience does exchange data with the mining companies who operate their own independent underground networks, with a goal to better understanding the mechanisms of an earthquake," she added.
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