Last night at about 7:40 pm, we had a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Botswana. Luckily it occurred in a remote area in the Kgalagadi Desert, nearly due west from Mahalapye about 178 km, near to the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve. The depth of the earthquake is different from varying reports from 22 km down to 11 km. So far it appears that there are no reports of damage or injuries. Someone told me that since the earthquake was quite deep, the damage on the surface is less even though it was quite a strong earthquake.
I have never been in an earthquake before. Many years ago, perhaps about 15 or 16, in Mahalapye we had a very slight earth tremor that at the time I thought was the train passing. What happened last night was completely different.
I was at home alone and the house started shaking. At first I was confused about what was happening. There was a rumbling sound, as if a very big truck was passing. Then I fell to the floor and crawled to the door. I couldn't find the keys to the burglar gate. All of this time the house was shaking, the windows rattling. I found the keys and got outside and still the shaking continued. I have no idea how long it lasted. I've read varying reports from 50 seconds to 6 minutes. It seemed like forever.
People were outside of their houses talking loudly, but there didn't seem to be any damage at all. This morning I walked around my house checking more carefully and there is no damage. It was scary last night, especially when they said that we should expect aftershocks, though in the end I didn't feel any. I think we were all very lucky though, we could be telling a very sad story this morning otherwise.