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Moderate mag. 4.8 earthquake - 7.5 km south of Stilfontein, North-West, South Africa, on Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:05 am (GMT +2)

Moderate mag. 4.8 earthquake - 7.5 km south of Stilfontein, North-West, South Africa, on Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:05 am (GMT +2) Moderate mag. 4.8 earthquake - 7.5 km south of Stilfontein, North-West, South Africa, on Sunday, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:05 am (GMT +2)

Moderate magnitude 4.8 earthquake at 10 km depth

6 Dec 01:22 UTC: First to report: USGS after 16 minutes.
Update Sun, 6 Dec 2020, 01:24
Light 4.8 quake hits near Stilfontein, South Africa
4.8 quake 6 Dec 3:05 am (GMT +2)
4.8 quake 6 Dec 3:05 am (GMT +2)
A shallow magnitude 4.8 earthquake was reported early morning near Stilfontein, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, North West, South Africa.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit on Sunday 6 December 2020 at 3.05 am local time at a shallow depth of 10 km. Shallow earthquakes are felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
Our monitoring service identified a second report from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) which listed the quake at magnitude 4.8 as well.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake was probably felt by many people in the area of the epicenter. It should not have caused significant damage, other than objects falling from shelves, broken windows, etc.
In Stilfontein (pop. 93,100) located 8 km from the epicenter, Klerksdorp (pop. 178,900) 13 km away, and Orkney (pop. 145,800) 13 km away, the quake should have been felt as light shaking.
Weak shaking might have been felt in Viljoenskroon (pop. 55,000) located 37 km from the epicenter, Potchefstroom (pop. 123,700) 39 km away, Bothaville (pop. 71,900) 55 km away, Vredefort (pop. 10,600) 60 km away, and Parys (pop. 71,300) 68 km away.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available. If you're in the area, please send us your experience through our reporting mechanism, either online or via our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone around the globe who wants to know more about this quake.

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Earthquake data

Earthquake details

Date & timeDec 6, 2020 01:05:44 UTC
Local time at epicenterSunday, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:05 am (GMT +2)
StatusConfirmed
Magnitude4.8
Depth10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude26.9122°S / 26.7738°E (Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, North West, South Africa)
Antipode26.912°N / 153.226°W
Shaking intensityLight shaking
Felt270 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearby towns and cities8 km (5 mi) S of Stilfontein (North-West) (pop: 93,100) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
13 km (8 mi) ESE of Klerksdorp (North-West) (pop: 178,900) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
13 km (8 mi) NE of Orkney (North-West) (pop: 145,800) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
37 km (23 mi) NNW of Viljoenskroon (Orange Free State) (pop: 55,000) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
39 km (24 mi) SW of Potchefstroom (North-West) (pop: 123,700) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
55 km (34 mi) NNE of Bothaville (Orange Free State) (pop: 71,900) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
130 km (80 mi) SW of Soweto (Gauteng) (pop: 1,695,000) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
149 km (93 mi) WSW of Johannesburg (Gauteng) (pop: 2,026,500) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
162 km (101 mi) SE of Mahikeng (North-West) (pop: 14,000) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
192 km (119 mi) SW of Pretoria (Gauteng) (pop: 1,619,400) | Show on map | Quakes nearby
Weather at epicenter at time of quakeClear Sky 16.7°C (62 F), humidity: 81%, wind: 5 m/s (10 kts) from N
Estimated seismic energy released1 x 1012 joules (278 megawatt hours, equivalent to 239 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy
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If you felt this quake (or if you were near the epicenter), please share your experience and submit a short "I felt it" report! Other users would love to hear about it!
If you did NOT feel the quake although you were in the area, please report it! Your contribution is valuable to earthquake science, seismic hazard analysis and mitigation efforts. You can use your device location or the map to indicate where you were during the earthquake. Thank you!

Data for the same earthquake reported by different agencies

Info: The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
Mag.DepthLocationSource
4.810 km7 Km S of Stilfontein, South AfricaUSGS
4.810 kmSOUTH AFRICAEMSC

User reports for this quake (288)

User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
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Klerksdorp / Strong shaking (MMI VI) : I would say fairly strong shaking- one strong jerk a d then shaking for aprox 30 secs- alarming, my animals very frightened, myself pretty shaken - a second tremor about 2mins later- not as strong for a few secs | 4 users found this interesting.  
  • I live in Klerksdorp and we are a family of five all of us were awoken by the bump and the shaking thay followed.
Craigavon, Fourways (157.5 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) : I woke up because my bed was shaking and then heard our glass door shaking. It lasted about 10 seconds at 03h06 this morning. Only I felt it as everyone else was asleep. | 2 users found this interesting.  
Klerksdorp / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : Woken up to the house movements which disturbed the birds and dog. The duration was longer than normal from the bumps we get from mining activity in the area. I think the depth is shallower than reported. The reported epicenter appears to be close to a ca | 2 users found this interesting.  
cape town / Light shaking (MMI IV) : We were woken up this morning with our place shaking and vibrating. We moved to this area recently, so we are not used to activies like this. A truly amazing experience. | 2 users found this interesting.  
Randfontein, Greenhills (123.4 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating : Frightened by the rattling sound of the building and the roof felt like it will soon dismantle. In about 7 to 10 seconds it became quite again. | One user found this interesting.  
Klerksdorp (13.5 km W of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating : Awoke to the sounds of doors, windows banging and ground shaking violently. It honestly felt worse than the 6.3 we had in 2012 but of shorter duration. Felt a couple of after shocks that's about it. | One user found this interesting.  
Ferndale, Randburg (152.3 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s : Was awake lying in bed around 3h05am Sunday morning when I felt my bed shake for about 5 seconds or more. Felt like a strong tremor | One user found this interesting.  
Klerksdorp, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, North-West (11.2 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : I was asleep, woken by the shaking. But one member of the household was awake and said it started with a bang, like a clap of thunder. My guess is the first quake lasted about 30seconds, I immediately got up and felt the ground shaking, then what seems a | One user found this interesting.  
Roodepoort Johannesburg (145 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) / rattling, vibrating / 20-30 s : Woke up at 3:07am and felt quake kn Weltevreden Park, Roodepoort Johhanesburg. Light rattling of sliding door in bedroom for around 30 seconds | One user found this interesting.  
Randburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (157 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 10-15 s : Felt two separate tremors. Second one much longer and stronger. Sound of our doors and windows shaking hard woke me on both occasions. Sounded like someone banging on our doors. Felt our house shaking. Not a light tremor | One user found this interesting.  
Northriding / Weak shaking (MMI III) : The sound and vibration woke me up. It felt like the bed was swaying and the house was shaking. Lasted for about 15 seconds | One user found this interesting.  
Northriding / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s : I felt it!! I woke up just after 3am as the mirrors on my wall were rattling followed by my bed shaking slightly. | One user found this interesting.  
Pretoria, Equestria (185.8 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / 2-5 s : My upstairs bedroom made a "contraction" sound and the kingsize bed (not touching any walls) shook twice.  
Northwold in Johannesburg (150.4 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 5-10 s : It was shortly after 3am on Sunday morning when I felt my bed shake. I was awake as my alarm had just gone off at 3am. The shaking was quite alarming that I got up, switched on my side lamp and prayed.  
Potchefstroom, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality (38.2 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 10-15 s : It was a funny sound, like thunder, with vibrating ground and the dogs started barking, but I knew it was an earthquake because I lived in Welkom Freestate South Africa for 18 years. I know what they feel like  
Roodepoort, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (134.8 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) : Was just after 3am, i was woken up by shaking and checked to see if my baby boy was okay. Was a frightful awakening!  
121 leemhuis str Klerksdorp (13.8 km WNW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Woke up from shake at 03h05, later in the morning hours felt 2 more trembles. Sunday the 6th in the afternoon another tremble.  
Wilro Park, Roodepoort (140.4 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s : I was awaken by the trembling of the house and the windows rattling. It lasted a few seconds before it ended. I stay in a double storey house on the side of Ridge in Wilro Park, Roodepoort.  
Klerksdorp (13.4 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating : I was sleeping and the quake woke me up. It felt like the ceiling fan could come down but luckily did not  
Pretoria, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (193 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) : We live in Bailey's Muckleneuk, Pretoria close to the university of Pretoria. We felt the earthquake at 03h05. The built-in cupboards in our house were shaking  
Klerksdorp (14.2 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / 20-30 s : Grew up in this town. There are many gold mines in the area and light tremors have never been unusual. I woke up from this one. I took note that this is probably the biggest one I've ever felt, but I didn't bother getting out of bed and fell asleep again   
Pretoria, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (196.2 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / rattling, vibrating / 10-15 s : Woke up of bed movement and rattling of mirrors of dressing table. Was as if someone was shaking the bed. Happened at 03:00 on 6 December. 1 crack in bathroom and another in the corridoor. Live in 6 floor building and my flat is on the 6th floor.  
Hartbeespoort (171.7 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 1-2 s : Woke up by vibration and bed shaking, got a bit scared and when I put myself back together and checked the time it was 3:07 am. It was my first time experiencing an earthquake  
Klerksdorp-near Ventersdorp road-in town though. (13.3 km W of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / vibration and rolling / 5-10 s : Was sleeping upstairs and wake up from rattling and oncoming rolling and vibration-like train nearby-that come and go Nothing fell or was broken. Aftershock 4.15-light shaking, but rumbling, like thunder. Enough to leave as shaking!  
Randburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (147.5 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / single lateral shake / very short : We were fast asleep and awakened by a shudder. Lasted for a split second. Location: Randpark Ridge / Honeydew  
Stilfontein (16.4 km S of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / very short : Relatively "mild" experience - woke up with the occurrence but it did not last very long - and went back to sleep. Only found a few displaced objects on the floor this morning.  
5C Hardekool ave, Doringkruin, Klerksdorp, South A (13.4 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating : Hear and felt quake. Quake ran for 60 seconds or more. Felt like more than one bump in one. Felt bigger than a 4.8. Could hear birds panicking in area. Retired shift overseer deep mining gold mines South Africa, 30 year in mining.  
Klerksdorp, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, North-West (12 km WNW of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s : The tremor woke me from a deep sleep. At first I thought it was a rock fall in the mine but the period of the tremor made me realise it was a earthquake. Although it wasn't serious, it was rather worrying at the time it happened. (reported through our app)  
Klerksdorp (13.7 km NW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 2-5 s : I felt it. I am a heavy/deep sleeper and I was awoken abruptly. Haven't noticed any damage yet, but could hear rattling, creaking, bumping noises throughout the house. Heard the tremor pass into the distance.  
Klerksdorp, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality, North-West (11.5 km WNW of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Working on the mines in the area I guess it to be 4,5 magnitude. Strong shacking dying of towards the west  
Randburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng (148.5 km NE of epicenter) [Map] / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s : I was asleep at the time and it caused me to wake up. I felt a slight shaking motion and my bed rattled very slightly. I have garland on my staircase for Christmas and it was rattling too. I seem quite far away from the epicentre but I definitely felt it.  
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