Mmegi Online :: The earthquake: Through the eyes of MoiCity residents
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Friday 15 December 2017, 17:56 pm.
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The earthquake: Through the eyes of MoiCity residents

MOIYABANA: Until three days ago, Moiyabana was a very subdued village with very little news coming out of it. Moiyabana is 50 kilometers south west of Serowe and was the epicentre of an 6.5 earthquake that rocked the country on Monday evening.
By Onalenna Kelebeile Tapela Morapedi Thu 06 Apr 2017, 16:13 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The earthquake: Through the eyes of MoiCity residents








Life here is slow and boring. However, the earthquake has delivered a topic that has had everyone talking in the village, as it did across the country.

At a local drinking whole, where traditional brew is served in empty mayonnaise bottles, the mood is high as everybody discusses how they survived the first earthquake in 60 years.

“I ran out of the house in anticipation of the huge machinery that caused our house to tremble a few years back. I was greeted by neighbours also in the middle of their yards,” chipped in one member of the drinking team - Keiponye Xootsha in her 60s, a Mosarwa woman from Sehunou settlement between Moiyabana and Motshegaletau villages.

The other narrated how she collapsed and had to be fanned with a wet cloth after suffering a shock. “I only came round the next morning. Rona kana re lwala di-high blood. Nako nngwe re tile go swela ruri,’ she said passively.

However, some members of the drinking team seem to have not been bothered as they managed to leave their homes and walked about eight kilometeres from Sehunou just for the traditional drink in Moiyabana.

The thundering tremor did not spare students as 36 of them at the local Mothamo Junior Secondary School were admitted at Sekgoma hospital after they were injured in a stampede. Everybody ran for dear life when the tremor produced a huge bang resulting in buildings shaking and items thrown from side to side. The students were attending the evening study period when the earthquake hit and they tried to escape through a narrow door and windows.

Others sustained injuries on the elbows and knees. The other one tried to escape through the window and sustained a serious cut on the head while the other one sustained a minor fracture on the front tooth.

Serowe District Officer, Onalenna Daniel explained that a resident nurse attended to 30 of the students while four were immediately referred to a local clinic and discharged back to school. Those who were referred to Sekgoma Memorial Hospital were the ones who sustained a cut on the head and one who sustained a wrist dislocation.

They were discharged and were able to attend classes on Tuesday. The resident nurse and the school authorities that addressed them on Tuesday morning also offered the students counseling. Students were spotted around the school with bandaged limbs.

Daniel explained that

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his office received a call from the village kgosi Gosotwamang Keatshotse between 7.30pm and 8pm informing him about the experience in the village and the following morning a team of social workers and members of the Village Development Committee were dispatched to conduct preliminary assessments to establish the extent of the damage in the village.

By Tuesday after lunch, 10 houses were identified to have cracked from the immense trembling and shaking. No injuries from the village were reported because according to Daniel the thundering noise came from a distance and people became alert and ran to safety away from their houses.

“The quake also affected the local primary school kitchen as cables connecting power to the kitchen got broken when the roof was shaken and the kitchen ceiling collapsed,” he said. The village has a beautiful site of small hills and large rocks nicely stacked on top of each other as if it was a deliberate design by nature.

One large rock from the top rolled down bringing others on its way down threatening to destroy the churches built beneath the hill.

“The churches were luckily missed but had the quake been more intense the churches could have been destroyed. In Motshegaletau village only two households were affected as the mud hut walls collapsed,” said Daniel.

He added that assessment will continue to identify if there are people who need to be assisted. Other than an assessment team by the VDC and social workers, the Disaster Management Team had not yet visited the affected areas.

Kgosi Keatshotse described the experience as the first of its kind in the village that had left his community reeling in shock.

He described the noise as a huge blast as if there were explosives used and this sent huge vibrations with increasing sounds into the village from a direction where there had been gas and oil explorations believed to have been taking place within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

He said they strongly believe that that is where everything originated. He said the exploration is about 132 kilometers from the village. “We are hoping that experts in geology will act promptly to inspect the area. What comforted us is that other than the explorations that are 132 kilometers away from the village, there are no other underground mining activities in the village that could have made the situation worse,” he said.

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