Earthquake Hits Kariba

An earthquake has hit Kariba and the surrounding areas with the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) of Zimbabwe estimating that the epicentre was approximately 50km South of Kariba Dam near Bumi Hills.

Below is a statement on the tremor:
An earthquake of magnitude M4.3 occurred and was felt in the Kariba and surrounding areas at 22:03 hours (10PM) on 2 August 2022.

The epicentre was triangulated by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) of Zimbabwe to approximately 50km South of Kariba Dam near Bumi Hills. Although this is a naturally active seismic area, it started experiencing increased seismicity after the filling of Lake Kariba in the 1960s.

Accordingly, the earthquakes are normal and expected. They are referred to as “reservoir-induced tremors” because they are attributed to the presence of the lake.
In the last twelve months, two earthquakes of equivalent magnitudes and several others of smaller magnitudes occurred south of the Kariba Dam.

Of note are magnitude M4.5 and M4.6 earthquakes that occurred on 9 August 2021 and 24 May 2022, with epicentres near Binga and below the Lake respectively.

We wish to assure the public and those domiciled in and around the affected areas that tremors of this magnitude are not expected to affect the structural integrity of the Kariba Dam.

We further confirm that there were no unusual observations made from the inspections that were carried out on the morning of 3rd August 2022 nor from the analysis of dam safety data that is collected from several instruments that monitor the behaviour of the dam.

About the Zambezi River Authority The Zambezi River Authority is a Bi-National organization mandated to contribute to the economic, industrial, and social development of the Republics of Zambia and Zimbabwe by obtaining the greatest possible benefits from the natural advantages offered by the waters of the Zambezi River (between Zambia and Zimbabwe) through the most economical and effective means of providing water for generation of electricity and for other purposes which the Contracting States may decide upon.

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