Earthquake jolts govt into action

Earthquake jolts govt into action

Source: Earthquake jolts govt into action – DailyNews Live

Helen Kadirire      7 April 2017

HARARE – Zimbabwe is ill-prepared to deal with earthquake disasters and
must urgently overhaul its emergency reaction operations, Environment
minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri warned yesterday.

This comes as the country was this week rattled by a quake of magnitude
5,6 on the Richter scale, which also struck Botswana and neighbouring
South Africa.

The southern African nation has of late been shaken by quakes and tremors,
but has not implemented disaster management measures.

In 2016 alone, Muchinguri-Kashiri told the media, over 50 earthquakes were
recorded in the country ranging from magnitude 1,5 to 4,6 on the Richter
scale.

“Zimbabwe is now regarded internationally as a highly vulnerable country
with low preparedness to respond to natural disasters,” she said.

“This includes preparedness for earthquakes and now calls for a detailed
study to assess whether there is need for a policy or guidance on
earthquakes or seismicity in Zimbabwe,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.

The earthquakes in Zimbabwe are linked to those occurring in Mozambique,
Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya – countries in the African Rift
valley.

The minister said because earthquakes are being experienced in all
provinces, disaster response has to be improved.

Muchinguri-Kashiri said Cabinet has engaged scientists to investigate the
occurrence of earthquakes in order to be better prepared.

“We cannot predict when an earthquake will strike and we also do not have
policies on how best to construct earthquake-proof structures. We need to
influence policies whether in construction of dams or buildings so we know
how to construct our structures,” she said.

Meteorological Services Department director Amos Makarau said earthquakes
can occur in Zimbabwe, particularly in Karoi and along the Nyamandhlovu
aquifer.

Makarau said since Monday’s earthquake, there have been 50 more
aftershocks ranging from 3,0 to 5,0 that were experienced.

“We cannot say that our buildings are very safe. Now, construction does
not only need environmental impact assessments only but seismic
assessments. Ordinary houses as of now are not safe. There comes a time
when seismologists have to be engaged in building construction to ensure
that materials that can withstand an earthquake are used.

“In the Chipinge earthquake, buildings collapsed. Now that the country and
Zambia are looking into construction of the Batoka Gorge Dam, more
reinforcements need to be used as that area is highly active in terms of
seismic activity. If not properly built, it could collapse,” Makarau said.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 7 months

    I really think this is all a bit high-tech for Zimbabwe which is about 60 years behind the rest of the world. Better to concentrate our technical resources on how to successfully fill a pothole before venturing into shock-proof building construction.

  • comment-avatar

    Clever ministers can pray to have earthquakes at Barrowdale brook at list they have good infrastructure there

  • comment-avatar
    Alan Howard 7 months

    Somebody got that a bit wrong? As far as I can recollect the Nyamandhlovu Aquafer is about 400 Kms SSE of Karoi.

  • comment-avatar
    harper 7 months

    The Mozambique Channel is the continuation of the rift valley with many branches to the west. Batoka George is a branch of the rift valley with major fault lines on either side. Hot springs are evidence of the faults.

  • comment-avatar
    Barry 7 months

    Earthquakes here are far from serious but this is a good excuse to commision studies and hire relatives at ludicrous salaries, hand out mercs and then conclude that they need to go and beg for more aid to steal.

    • comment-avatar
      I am not the one 7 months

      Conclude, really, they can do that? They dont conclude but only realise there is nothing to steal, break, eat or drink without a clue as to what caused there to be nothing left in the trough. No, conclude is not something in abundance in Zim.