Kamanjab/Anker-Thousands of residents of the southern part of Kunene Region are living in fear of frequent earth tremors with the latest tremor recorded on Wednesday at around 10h35 measuring 4.0, further frightening an already jittery community.
The latest earthquake that left even grown-up men trembling in their boots occurred approximately 80 km north-west of Kamanjab in the drought-hit Kunene.
Three phase readings were picked up by the Geological Survey of Namibia – in Windhoek, Ariamsvlei and Aus.
“Three local seismic stations from the Namibian seismological network recorded the event and preliminary analyses were performed on this data set,” according to Dr Vickey Do Cabo from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“The epicentre of the event is located in the Kaoko Orogenic Belt, which is a regional tectonic unit on the north-west coast of Namibia. The location is one of the seismically active zones in Namibia, where earthquakes are associated with the existing fault system,” further stated Do Cabo in a media statement.
On Tuesday earthquakes struck four times but the one that struck on Wednesday was bigger, causing widespread fear.
A Grade 5 pupil, Tracy Xoagus said: “We want this to go away. We are really scared of these movements.” Xoagus is a pupil at Edward //Garoeb Primary School and resident at the settlement of Anker.
A boy told his mother while holding her hand tightly, “A huge animal was screaming underneath the ground. Mummy it was scary.”
Asser /Aib, 55, who resides at Anker Pos 2, said he was standing next to the fireplace when the ground started moving.
“I ran out of the fireplace as the tremor was stronger than the ones before,” narrated a frightened /Aib.
He said at other places schools even closed as teachers did not want to risk their lives.
/Aib, who is a farmer, however added that schools must not be permanently closed, but that they need renovations to strengthen their shaken foundations as walls might collapse on learners.
“From time to time we experience earthquakes in our area,’’ said Max Haraseb, the chief of //Gaoio Daman Traditional Authority, under whose jurisdiction the Grootberg area falls.
Haraseb said “we don’t want to be held accountable for loss of life or property”.
“We cannot be quiet on these earthquakes – we requested government to come on board,” Haraseb said.
“We are scared of these earthquake tremors, we are not at peace, as we might die anytime,” said a visibly shaken Marina !Guim who resides at Kamanjab.
Josephine Guriras said mud fell from some houses made of mud. But she was mostly concerned about the children at the local school, Edward //Garoeb Primary School, that accommodates 327 pupils.
“If this earthquake (Wednesday’s) was stronger buildings would have fallen on pupils. The hostel is a concern. The light bulbs were shattered during the tremor and walls cracked,” said Guriras who has two children enrolled at the school.
“It is scary and traumatising. You cannot concentrate on teaching as one is fearful for one’s life – so just imagine how children feel,” a teacher at the school told New Era.
Lydia /Awises said that her daughter’s bedroom wall developed cracks and she wants the government to pay her compensation.
Aine !Hoaebs, Kunene councillor, said: “The situation is under control but just because children are playful does not mean they are not affected. Some situations we cannot change.”
Outjo circuit inspector Thomas Amutenya told this newspaper that Edward Garoeb Primary School has been closed for now until a permanent solution is found before the beginning of the second school term.