Cape Town – The City of Cape Town said on Monday that the tremors experienced over the weekend had caused widespread panic, but assured residents that it had a readiness plan in the case of an actual earthquake.
Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, said that according to the council for geosciences (CGS), a seismic event with a magnitude lower than 4.0 was considered a tremor.
Smith said that earthquakes could not be predicted and that the city had no early warning systems.
The CGS, however, has tsunami sensors and early warning systems to ensure the public is notified of threats.
He said that in the event of an earthquake, the CGS and South African Weather Service would be the lead agencies, while the city’s disaster coordinating team would organise responses to the potential impacts.
Agencies such as the South African National Defence Force, South African Police Service, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and urban search and rescue would all take part in the response, he said.
Smith said the city’s Disaster Risk Management Centre does have emergency response plans in place for potential disasters, including earthquakes.
The plans are reviewed annually and test systems take place on an ongoing basis.
He said that as with any potential disaster, an effective response was reliant on all involved, including the public.
Information on what residents can do in the event of an earthquake can be found on the City of Cape Town website.