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Old sinkhole picture misleading – doesn’t reflect recent earthquake damage



Johannesburg earthquake picture is fake

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck Johannesburg early on June 11, 2023. There were no casualties or significant damage. However, some have tried to sensationalise this event. For instance, look above. This Johannesburg earthquake picture is fake. According to Yahoo News, the photograph on Twitter depicts a large crater outside a house, supposedly caused by the earthquake, but it is misleading. The image is at least three months old. It is from a report about sinkholes forming in another area of Johannesburg.

Despite the lack of authenticity, this tweet with the picture captioned, “That earthquake nearly killed us #earthquake #Johannesburg (sic),” was shared on June 11, 2023, along with other similar posts. Another image also made its way online without the Johannesburg hashtag. Verifying the information before sharing it is essential, especially regarding natural disasters.

This seismic event is a “notable quake”, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). According to archived USGS data, the earthquake hit at 2:38 am, approximately 10 kilometres beneath the surface, southeast of Johannesburg. During the tremor, social media users captured videos showing shaking homes, offices, and streets.


Also read: Johannesburg Rattled by 5.0 Magnitude Earthquake

Johannesburg sits on dolomite, a composition of calcium and magnesium, which can lead to sinkhole formation due to water penetration. Reports from South African media indicate ongoing sinkhole issues in the Khutsong area, with some residents having to evacuate their homes. Heavy rains, poor maintenance of stormwater drains, and blockages exacerbate the problem. In March 2023, the provincial government of Gauteng announced its intention to declare Khutsong a national disaster area to access emergency funding for addressing the crisis.

Regarding the earthquake, South Africa’s Council for Geoscience (CGS) stated on June 11, 2023, that they are investigating the event, considering the possibility of mining-related seismicity or fluctuations in groundwater levels. Mining activity has been associated with most seismic events in the country.

As Johannesburg recovers from the recent earthquake, relying on verified information and exercising caution when sharing images or news on social media platforms is crucial to avoid spreading misinformation.

Also read:


Hilarious Earthquake Reactions Go Viral Across Mzansi

Picture: Twitter / ParimalAitc

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