WATCH: The moment the tremor rattled Oudtshoorn

2016-10-18 13:34
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Cape Town - An Oudtshoorn family, who run the newly-opened zipline in Oudtshoorn say they were highly confused when the tremor hit, sharing footage captured on the estate's CCTV footage. 

Towns across the Eden District, along the popular Garden Route felt the effects of a tremor on Tuesday Morning, forcing a number of attractions to close due to safety concerns including the iconic Cango Caves.

Jean Botha, who bought and developed the Cango Caves Estate in 2009, told Traveller24, "I was on the stoep talking to my foreman, Kerneels Tiemmie and then suddenly the tremble started and it became so hard my stoep started moving." 

"I had my three-year-old daughter with me and she was confused by what was happening. Even more so my wife, who went looking for my two-year-old son as we were worried that he had been playing on the side of the building. But she found him playing safely around the corner." 

In this video, captured by Botha, you can see how a tractor rolls into view as the camera shakes considerable as the tremor measuring 3.4 on the Richter Scale hits. It happened just on 8:27 on Tuesday morning, according to the time-stamp on the camera.

Botha explains that while the footage is brief and he has 16 different views on his CCTV camera, this once shows best how the tremor starts, works up to "a loud aftershock" where you can see something falling from the roof and then fizzling to a slight tremor again at this point. 

Gerard Otto, Head of the Eden District Municipality’s disaster management confirmed that the residents as far as Hartenbos, George and Knysna could feel the trembles. The epi-center of the earthquake was north of Oudtshoorn and the tremor ran 6km deep along the Cango faultline; a fracture along which the earth crust’s has moved.

Otto ordered the Cango Caves, to close its door to the public as a preventative measure but the iconic attraction was expected to re-opened at 12pm. It has however been confirmed that the caves will remain shut for the rest of the day. 

A spokesperson for the Cango Caves, Operations Manager Alison Moos, confirmed to Traveller24 that after structural assessments to the caves and the visitors building there was no apparent damage. 

"Luckily there was no damage and we managed to get everybody out of the building and the caves as soon we felt it starting," says Moos. 

"A tour was just about to start but we were able to get them out safely. Our maintenance manager did an onsite inspection and has deemed it safe."

"All the visitors re-acted in quite a calm manner." 

Residents from Oudtshoorn have shared their experiences on Facebook and many have confirmed that they’ve felt the tremor and immediately knew it was an earthquake, stating the tremor only lasted for seconds; one resident mentioned that he could even hear it, while another said that her "dogs didn’t react well to the trembles".  

It was also felt on farms around Dysseldrop. One resident described it as, “it felt as if a wind blew the roof off our house” and another shared it as, “it felt as if the atmosphere pushed me towards the window and then everything rattled”. 

SEE:  10 Unique Route 62 experiences

The Cango Caves Zipline has also been checked for safety, with operators confirming all activities are continuing as normal.


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