Acid Mine Water to blame for quakes?

A geophysicist from the University of Witwatersrand has warned that Johannesburg could be in for more frequent earth tremors as water levels in abandoned mines continue to rise.

On Sunday, a minor quake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale was felt in parts of the city.

Wits Professor Ray Durrheim, who lives in Kensington, said it was one of the strongest earth quakes he has ever felt.

“I have been studying these events for over 25 years and this certainly struck me as one of the strongest shakes we have felt,” said Durrheim.

Durrheim said research should be done on the frequency of the tremors.

“It may establish that when the water table rises, the effect of the water is to trigger seismic events. This is something that we aren’t a hundred percent sure of and really deserves proper scientific investigation,” he said.

The issue of rising acid mine water has been raised before Parliament in the past and government is trying to find a solution.

The epicentre of Sunday’s quake was near Wemmer Pan, south of Johannesburg.

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