South Australia earthquake biggest in 15 years
From Australian Geographic
THE BIGGEST EARTHQUAKE IN Australia in 15 years has shaken people living near the epicentre, but otherwise left them unscathed.
Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen said people in the communities around the earthquake epicentre had reported strong shaking.
Earthquake Australia’s biggest in 15 years
“An event like this, there are a number of Aboriginal communities around there and they have experienced strong shaking,” David said. “We’ve heard from them, people have felt strong shaking, but we haven’t heard of any damage yet, but there is that possibility.”
There have been several aftershocks since the earthquake.
Friday’s earthquake followed two quakes in the area in the past week. The first, on March 16, measured 4.3 and the second on March 20 was magnitude 3.8.
Friday’s 6.1-magnitude earthquake is Australia’s biggest since a quake measuring 6.3 was recorded off Collier Bay on West Australia’s far north coast in 1997.
“This (Ernabella) earthquake would have been felt in Yulara (near Uluru), only weakly in Alice Springs and maybe as far as Coober Pedy,” David said.
South Australia Police said no injuries or damage had been reported.
Australia has 200 earthquakes a year
David said the region’s earthquakes are caused by the release of stress from the Earth’s crust, built up as the Indian-Australian tectonic plate moves, squeezing South Australia sideways by about 0.1 millimetre each year.
He said on average there are about 200 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or more in Australia each year and one earthquake above magnitude 5.5 about every two years.
Australia’s largest-ever recorded earthquake was in 1941 in Meeberrie, in central-west West Australia, with a magnitude of 7.3, but there was no fatalities.