Saturday 26 August 2017

Five missing after collapse at South African gold mine.

Five miners are missing after roof collapse at the Harmony Gold operated Kusasalethu Mine, near Carletonville in Gauteng Province was triggered by a small Earthquake at about 10.30 am local time on Friday 25 August 2017. The men are believed to be trapped behind a collapsed section of tunnel 3.1 km below the ground. Rescue teams are pumping compressed air into the shaft to prevent the men from suffocating, while specialist rescue workers try to clear though to the cut off section of mine.

The Kusasalethu Mine in Gauteng, South Africa. Harmony Gold.

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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