2017 Botswana earthquake

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Coordinates: 22°39′29″S 25°08′49″E / 22.658°S 25.147°E / -22.658; 25.147

2017 Botswana earthquake
2017 Botswana earthquake is located in Botswana
2017 Botswana earthquake
2017 Botswana earthquake is located in Africa
2017 Botswana earthquake
UTC time2017-04-03 17:40:18
ISC event610478084
Local date3 April 2017 (2017-04-03)
Local time19:40:18 CAT
Magnitude6.5 Mw
Depth29 km (18 mi)
Areas affectedCentral District
Max. intensityVIII (Severe)
Casualties36 injured

The 2017 Botswana earthquake was a magnitude 6.5 earthquake which occurred in the Central District of Botswana.

It is the second largest earthquake recorded in Botswana next to the 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Maun which occurred in 1952.[1]


The earthquake which happened at 19:40, local time according to the US Geological Survey. It was felt for 30 seconds in the country's capital of Gaborone and was reportedly felt in neighboring South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland.[2] At least 36 students were injured in a stampede sparked by the earthquake.[3]


The epicenter area of the earthquake is covered by wind-blown sediments and there is no trace of a fault at the surface prior to the earthquake.[4] The phenomenon was suspected to be an artificial earthquake allegedly caused by hydraulic fracking activity in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This speculation has been dismissed by the Botswana Geoscience Institute saying that the earthquake was natural, taking note that the earthquake was recorded at a depth of 29 km (18 mi).[1] Geophysical investigation of the epicenter region show that the earthquake is natural,[4][5] related to deep mantle fluids moving up the crust and causing the extensional reactivation of an ancient thrust fault.[4] Slip along a low-angle segment of the fault caused a slight ground deformation at the surface detectable only by satellite radar technology.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chida, Daniel (4 April 2017). "The earthquake was natural- Geoscience Institute". The Voice Newspaper Botswana. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Strong 6.5-magnitude quake strikes Botswana". News24. 3 April 2017. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  3. ^ "36 Moiyabana Students Injured in a Stampede Following an Earthquake". GABZ FM. April 4, 2017. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Kolawole, F.; Atekwana, E. A.; Malloy, S.; Stamps, D. S.; Grandin, R.; Abdelsalam, M. G.; Leseane, K.; Shemang, E. M. (2017-09-09). "Aeromagnetic, gravity, and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar analyses reveal the causative fault of the 3 April 2017 Mw6.5 Moiyabana, Botswana, earthquake". Geophysical Research Letters. 44 (17): 8837–8846. Bibcode:2017GeoRL..44.8837K. doi:10.1002/2017gl074620. ISSN 0094-8276. S2CID 134584787.
  5. ^ Gardonio, B.; Jolivet, R.; Calais, E.; Leclère, H. (2018-07-13). "The April 2017 Mw6.5 Botswana Earthquake: An Intraplate Event Triggered by Deep Fluids" (PDF). Geophysical Research Letters. 45 (17): 8886–8896. Bibcode:2018GeoRL..45.8886G. doi:10.1029/2018gl078297. ISSN 0094-8276. S2CID 134667492.

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