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Quake hits South Africa

05 August 2014, 14:51

Johannesburg - An earthquake shook buildings in Johannesburg and surrounding areas in South Africa's most populous province on Tuesday.

The magnitude-5.3 quake was centered in Orkney, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of Johannesburg, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Lindy Sirayi, a guesthouse owner in Orkney, said the tremor broke glass lampshades and cracked a wall, and that dogs started barking during the quake, which lasted about a minute. She said she received a telephone call informing her that two people were injured at a nearby mine. Aftershocks were felt, but the electricity in the guesthouse stayed on, Sirayi said.

There are gold-mining operations in Orkney. Quakes are a concern to mining companies that operate around Johannesburg, the biggest city in Gauteng province. Mining is a traditional pillar of industry in South Africa.

The quake was also felt in Pretoria, the South African capital, and Hartbeespoort, a nearby resort town.

The area has periodic, moderate tremors, though the quake on Tuesday was one of the strongest in recent years.

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- AP


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