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Earthquake kills one, injures at least 21 in S. Africa


Earthquake kills one, injures at least 21 in S. Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- One person was confirmed dead and at least 21 others were injured in an earthquake that sent shockwaves across South Africa and neighbouring Botswana and Swaziland on Tuesday.

The epicentre of the quake, measured at 5.5 on the Richter Scale, was at the mining town of Orkney in the North West Province, the Geoscience Council said.

The earthquake killed a 31-year-old homeless man who was found under debris in Orkney, close to the epicentre of the quake.

Anglogold Ashanti confirmed that 17 of its miners sustained light injuries when the quake struck its Great Noligwa and Moab Khotsong mines.

At least 3,300 miners were underground at the mine when the quake knocked out power at two of its mines.

The process of bringing all workers to the surface is expected to wrap up this evening, the company said.

In Orkney, at least 400 houses have been damaged by the earthquake.

An immediate concern in the wake of the quake was to find suitable accommodation for hundreds of people, Mahumapelo told reporters.

"There is also the problem of power but we're told Eskom is attending to the problem," he said.

The Geoscience Council said the tremor was caused by the release of pressure that has been building up underground in the Orkney mines.

Acid mine drainage may have triggered the earthquake, according to some seismologists.