BIG QUAKE HITS STATE
An earthquake that shook buildings from Perth to Albany yesterday was one of the biggest to hit WA.
The magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck between the towns of Walpole and Kojonup about 1pm. No significant damage was reported.
Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Phil Cummins said the tremor was considerably smaller than the magnitude 6.5 quake that destroyed the Wheatbelt town of Meckering 50 years ago next month.
“Nevertheless, this is quite a large earthquake,” he said.
“If we discount the offshore earthquakes, the earthquake north of Walpole is among the largest 24 earthquakes to have ever been recorded in WA.”
The last magnitude 5.6 earthquake in WA was in 2016 near Norseman. Professor Cummins said it was likely aftershocks from yesterday’s tremor would continue during the next week.
While Perth residents felt buildings shudder, people across the Great Southern reported hearing a low rumbling which they thought was thunder or a big truck going past.
Mark Blair, who lives 4km west of the Franklin River Bridge on Muir Highway, said at first he thought it was a sonic boom or a low-flying plane, but it lasted about 20 seconds.
“By international standards it was nothing serious, a painting dropped off the wall at a mate of mine’s place, but my old farmhouse shook like Aeroplane jelly,” he said.
“Nothing much fell down at my place but it was much worse than it has ever rattled in a storm. It was something to talk about at the pub for a couple of weeks.”
A Kojonup resident who asked not to be named said her cat had been acting strangely all day, refusing to leave her side.
“All of a sudden, all my glass sliding doors in my lounge room were shaking,” she said.
“I just grabbed the cat and ran outside and I could see everything rattling.”
Judy Fox, from the general store in Frankland River 70km south of Kojonup, said it reminded her of the Meckering quake, which happened when she was living in the nearby town of Beverley.
“We’ve been here 16 years and we haven’t felt a tremor like this in that time,” she said.
Walpole Hotel-Motel manager Dee Hillin said she heard a rumble and the hotel started shaking.
“Some of the staff didn’t realise but because we had a smaller one last week I knew what it was straight away and my husband raced out of the office and said, ‘Did you feel that’,” she said.