HARARE – Zimbabweans must brace for aftershocks in the coming days following a 6,5 magnitude earthquake that struck the country, the Meteorological Services Department (Met) said.
The earthquake shook Zimbabwe on Monday night and its epicentre was said to have been in Botswana, with shocks also felt in neighbouring South Africa (SA).
Earlier, SA experienced a 4,2 magnitude quake.
According to a Met report, Monday’s earthquake was felt in Beitbridge, Wedza, Kezi, Gwanda, Kariba, Mutare and Chipinge, among other areas.
“This is a large regional earthquake, thus we expect aftershocks hours, days or weeks after the main earthquake,” the Department said.
“Aftershocks can cause building damage and falling debris that could injure people,” it said, adding that “people should check for infrastructural damage to their properties”.
“This should give us lesson as a country that we are not safe from earthquakes and earthquakes are a hazard,” Met warned.
The Department said it will carry out a comprehensive survey of any infrastructural damage considering the magnitude of the earthquake.
It said the shocks were probably caused by tectonics caused by seismic energy that flowed underground through a passage of similar waves.
Met said the shocks may have been felt as far as Zambia towards the western extension of the East African Rift System.
“The East African Rift System contributes to a number of regional earthquakes recorded. This is the biggest earthquake to be recorded in Botswana and the country except the Okavango Delta Region which has always been regarded as a seismic,” it said.