Three workers have been confirmed dead and one is still missing following an Earthquake-induced collapse at the Tau Lekoa Gold Mine at Orkney in North West Province on Saturday 22 July 2017. The incident was triggered by a Magnitude 0.8 Earthquake, while the men were 1350 m below the ground. Rescue workers are continuing to search for the missing man.
The location of the Tau Lekoa Gold Mine. Google Maps.
Earthquakes are rare in South Africa. Because of this rarity it is hard to make precise judgements about the cause of quakes in South Africa, due to a paucity of data. Northwestern South Africa is close the southern end of the Great Rift Valley exits the continent and passes out under the Indian Ocean. The Great Rift Valley is slowly splitting the African Plate in two allow a line from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, and which includes the great lakes and volcanoes of east-central Africa. This has the potential to open into a new ocean over the next few tens of millions of years, splitting Africa into two new, smaller, continents; Nubia to the west and Somalia to the east.
Movement on the African Rift Valley, with associated volcanoes. Rob Gamesby/Cool Geography.
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