Earthquake shakes SA, kills one

JOHANESSBURG - An earthquake has struck South Africa, killing one person and trapping some mine workers in a town south-west of Johannesburg, emergency workers say.

The US Geological Survey said the 5.3 magnitude tremor was near Orkney, a centre of gold-mining operations.

One person died after a wall in Orkney collapsed and emergency medical service ER24 said one mine in the area seemed to have been significantly impacted.

The earthquake was felt in neighbouring Botswana and Mozambique.

ER24 said the evacuation of miners had been ordered from shafts around Orkney but one mine had reported problems.

"Our crew is heading to the mine where miners are reported to trapped at 11 shafts," ER24 spokeswoman Luyanda Majija said.

The BBC's Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg says the area around the city has a history of mild tremors largely because of the nearby gold mines, which are some of the deepest in the world.

However geologists describe this tremor as a significant event, he says.

It rattled windows in high rise buildings in Johannesburg.

Our reporter says South Africa's largest earthquake to date was recorded with a magnitude of 6.3 in the Western Cape town of Tulbagh in 1969.

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