The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) and Meteorological Services Department (MSD) have said that areas proxy to the Kariba Dam were, during the first week of April, hit by five earthquakes which, however, did not lead to losses in human lives and property.
It is reported that two of the earthquakes on 1 and 2 April, measured 4.0 on the Richter scale while the other minor three had a magnitude ranging between 3.0 and 3.5 on the same.
In a statement, the ZRA said the epicenter of the earthquake was Kariba Dam while tremors were also felt in human settlements around the dam. Authorities say such reservoir-induced tremors are common in Kariba, adding that since 1963, more than 1000 earthquakes have occurred in the resort area.
“Two earth tremors or earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 were recorded in the Zambezi Valley around Kariba Dam on the 1st and 2nd of April at 7.29PM and 5.31PM respectively,” the ZRA statement reads.
“These tremors are a common occurrence in the area around Kariba Dam. The tremors are referred to as load-induced tremors or reservoir-induced tremors in the case of the Kariba Dam and are a result of the earth crust’s response to water load or weight given the size of the dam,” said the ZRA.
Co-owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia to manage Zambezi River and Kariba Dam, the Zimbabwe River Authority also added that the earthquake on April 1 was approximately 3km south-west of the Spurwing Island Lodge or 37km south of the Kariba Dam while the epicenter of the April 2 earthquake was approximately 65km east of the Kariba Dam wall.

State Media