Minor earthquake near Gaborone, Botswana

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Update 14:50 UTC : A Botswana reader who was commenting on the earthquake told us : "The nearest Mine is over 250 km away and most people felt the same thing so it has to be something", which means, it cant be mining. Only rest Natural Tectonic (earth layers) or Human Made by Fracking (drilling into the earth, using explosives to break the shale stone and extracting gas). This is going on for nearly 20 years in the USA (Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma etc) and a lot of minor earthquakes are being triggered by these companies do say a lot of scientists. But is is like cancer : hard to prove what generated the earthquake. We at ER are not against fracking as that can be highly beneficial, but the public should be informed about the risk on earthquakes and the government should think about the potential ecological damage.

Update : A reader also told us that fracking (extracting natural gas by breaking stones in the underground) is also going on in the area. If the frackers (as they are called) inject also the wastewater in the underground (rich in chemicals) it is considered dangerous for earthquakes. Nothing massive though - until now we have seen in other places in the world earthquakes up to a Magnitude 4

Update : At ER we think that the (minor) earthquake may have been mining triggered (as we often see in SA Joburg area). Selebi-Phikwe is for example a large mining area. Seismological agencies have unfortunately not listed the Botswana earthquake.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 3

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-05-09 06:04:00

GMT/UTC Time : 2014-05-09 04:04:00

Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Depth and Magnitude updates in the list below.

Share your earthquake experience (I Have Felt It) with our readers.
Click on the "I Felt It" button behind the corresponding earthquake. Your earthquake experience is not only important for science, but also for people in the area as well as our global readership.

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SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
ER Gaborone, Botswana May 09 04:04 3.0 10 MAP I Felt ItI Felt It INFO
  • Gaborone, Botwana - No damage
  • Gaborone, Botwana - Earth quake thz morning in Gaborone sorounding areas
  • Gaborone, Botwana - there was a tremor this morning in Gaborone. Clearly it was strong enough to wake anyone in my house up
  • Gaborone, Botwana - Just felt an earthquake in gaborone, I hope it ddnt destroy anythn in our small country.
  • gaborone, Botwana - no damage
  • Gaborone, Botwana - We haven't had any damage. Just enough shaking to wake me up.
  • Gaborone, Botwana - there was no damage to property. it was the rattling of windows and household utensils that captured by attention. felt (to me) like a heavy truck was passing, but without the noise
  • Gaborone, Botwana - Felt a reasonable vibration lasting between 5 to 10 seconds in 2 intervals. Many parts of the city and surroundings have indeed felt the vibration and mistook it to a passing truck or a train. However its now believed to be a tremor but no official statement from the Government of the media on the intensity and no details of damage (so far never heard any reports). There is not much seismic recordings in this part of the world i feel, am not sure.
  • Ramotswa, Botwana - nothing got damaged.
  • Gaborone - Woken up to the windows shaking as above in two bursts of five to ten seconds each.
  • Gaborone - no damage at all.......
  • Thamaga - Woken up at 0602hrs. Thought it was a motorised compactor. Windows shaken, one broken
  • Gaborone - No damage
  • Gaborone - yo i saw my blankets move, no damage though
  • Gaborone - I was waked by windows shaking for 10 seconds.
  • Gaborone - I was standing near my wardrobe getting dressed when the house started to rattle. I knew immediately it was an earthquake because I experienced one in the South of France last month. I began to doubt though and thought maybe there was a truck passing nearby. When colleagues at work mentionned it I then knew that my initial thought was right!
  • Gaborone - This morning around 06:00, I felt the shaking of the house and some sound, then I though it was a heavy construction moving near my house. There was no damage to my house or any neighboring houses.
  • Gaborone - around 06:00 today in Phase 4 Gaborone, I felt a bit shaking and sound, then i thought it was a big truck, to my suprise when i looked out there was nothing of such sort.... no damage was done..
  • Thamaga - Loud noise, sort of distant eplosion, slight shaking
  • Gaborone and surrounds - No damage, but the tremors were quire strong causing small structures to shake and cupboard doors to rattle, ,windows to rattle, and tin roof to rattle a lot. Tremor started with quite strong shakes and changed to trembles, then vibrations. Lasted about 5 minutes.
  • Thamaga - Around 1pm,I was taking a nap nd I woke up to the vibrations of the house, it lasted for about minutes if not more.it was truly weird and I feared my house could be falling in!luckily there was no damage to buildings.
  • Gaborone - i experienced a shake at first i thought it was a huge truck passing,then i immediately thought it could be an Aeroplane,Out of curiosity i concluded it a thunder-storm. My 3 year old son also felt it cos he ran from the lounge to the bathroom where i was at the time,he got so scared that he left his favourate show on tv. he even went to an extent of banging the bathroom door behind him.
  • gaborone - just felt a shake at 6.05 am no damage.
  • gabane - first time experience so, took long time to know what was going on
  • Mochudi - i thought it was a monkey on the roofs
  • Gaborone - No damage to property but heard vibrations of my windows which last not more than 40sec at 6am today (09/05/14). The nearest Mine is over 250 km away and most people felt the same thing so it has to be something.
  • Molepolole - Thought a truck was passing. No damage. Only learned later it was an earthquake.
  • mogoditshane - Around 6am, was in the bathroom when I heard the noise, first I thought it was a plane landing at the airport, then I thought it was a moving truck, later I thought it was a Police Helicopter but there was no sound. My dog even barked!
  • Gaborone - I was in the shower when i started loosing my balance but mangaged to stand then i heard a small sound but then it stopped.i never knew what was happening but luckily nothing got damaged.
  • Molepolole - I thought it was a mine or construction truck passing by. Windows were shaking and my husband immediately told us that it was an earthquake.
  • Bokaa - I was in a bath tub,i thought a huge truck was passing,then I thought it might be a plane and suddenly the house started shaking,it was scary,but there were no damages.
  • Tlokweng - I thought it was a dream!opened my eyes around to six and felt it, was very scared as i thought a big truck was nearby to crush my house. my 5 year old asked what was happening and i couldnt even answer!
  • Tlokweng - No damage to property
  • Gaborone - Nothing was damaged...just felt the tremor under my feet, and the windows rattled loudly. Pets were alarmed and uneasy.
  • Gaborone - I was getting into the bath tub when it started,i immediately came out because the house was shaking,the fridge opened and the roof was trembling but nothingb was destroyed except that it was scary since it was the first time to experience that.
  • gaborone - Felt like a train passing or a truck in the street
  • Gaborone - My wall mirror shook and because i was waking from my sleep i thought the train had just passed.
  • Molepolole - It was just a light shaking, windows making a crackling sound. Nothing was damaged...
  • Gaborone - House shook and it woke me and my wife just after 6am. She was the first to realise that it was an earthquake. Felt like a train passing, took about 15-20 seconds
  • mochudi - the windows were vibrating and there was a huge noise outside like that of a jet.but the house wasnt really shaking
  • Tlokweng - I was laying in bed when the roof starts making vibrating noises.
  • Tlokweng - Windows rattled but no damage. Felt like very big truck going past with rumbling vibration.Made one of my cats very nervous but my other cats slept through it!
  • Tlokweng - At around 6am, in Tlokweng, similar to the experience in 1992
  • Gaborone North - I thought some people were running on our roof.
  • Gaborone - It caused our windows to rattle and floors to vibrate. The dogs were barking inexplicably because they were visibly irritated by this unique event. It was truly a frightening experience.
  • Tlokweng - Noise from windows and roof around 06:00. Thought it was a hailstorm but later realised it never rained.
  • Lobatse - Windows vibrating
  • Gaborone, Botswana - There was a strong shake but not that long. Just about a second. no rattling of windows or blankets or beds moving. Nothing! just a heavy short burst shake and doefff noice. was scary though...
  • gaborone - fairly light
  • Gaborone - Almost a non event as it occurred in the early morning !
  • Gaborone - At least ten seconds of heavy rumble. Enough to wake me up - not easy at 6am.
  • Gaborone - around 6am ,i felt the building shaking, windows, bt nothing is damaged
  • Gaborone, Mogoditshane - No damage known
  • Madikwe Game Reserve - Was sleeping and was woken up by the windows and doors rattling, assumed it was a truck that was reversing but was too early for deliveries. Did not check the time. The dogs started barking.
  • Gaborone - rumbling noise, sounded like truck or train passing. Slight shaking of windows. Duration 10-20 seconds max. Thought there may have been earlier incident. No visible damage
  • mochudi - i was in class studying in I.H.S MOCHUDI when suddentltly i felt this shake within the class room , firstly i thought one of the rocks in the nearby hills just fell but after a few second the shaking suddently stoped
  • Gaborone - Vibrating windows and bed just after 6am
  • Gaborone - Woke up around 6am,am, May 9th 2014-Friday, ,because the building was shaking strongly and my bed and some furniture moved [I live in a block of flats on the upper floor],lasted about 20-30 seconds, I understood it could be earthquake because it was quite strong shaking, unlike that of a jet plane or train passing, asked other neighbours, and they all confrirmed they felt it too, and they thought it was a tremor-earthquake. Thank you.
  • Gaborone - If you were already awake when it happened, you couldn't ignore it. I was in the office and my office being on the boundaries of the Gaborone Game Reserve, the tremor scared the shit out of me. I had a tough time going outside the building thereafter, had to wait for some sunlight. I have a Sci Fi mind. LOL!!!
  • Gaborone - Felt light trauma-furniture in bedroom shaking.It felt like vibration you would feel if train pass nearby. Was very surprised as it was first experience. I really wonder what it means for the future as we are not used to earth quakes in this part of the world.
  • gaborone - I was up getting ready for school around 06:02 I heard the noise and I thought it was a truck or something(it must have been the wave approaching) then I felt the vibrations, my parents also got woken by it
  • thamaga - i no no damage. was looking to see if things will start shaking around the house and it stopped before anything could move. windows vibrated as if a hoover was put next to them on high volume.
  • Gaborone - woke up to a heavy rumbling of the floor and effects around the house. Knew it would happen one day.Wonder if Batswana are ready,talking disaster preparedness!
  • Gaborone - Before the shaking there was a fairly loud boom similar to thunder or a passing large vehicle.
  • Gaborone - no damage, thought it was a low flying plane
  • Gaborone - Wall, windows nd bed shaking, no damage
  • Gaborone, Botswana - i was scared i o my god thank u
  • Gaborone, Botswana - its not that bad,but it freaks nothing did not get damaged
  • Gaborone, Botswana - it was not that bad,but it was frightening and nothing was damaged
  • Gaborone, Botswana - no damage at all. after the shaking we experienced some slight showers
  • Gaborone - No property damage




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    I felt the shaking *
    Country where you felt the earthquake *
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake *
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Shaking Strength *
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    Tell us your experience and how many seconds the shaking lasted + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage). (max. 500 characters)
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