Small quake hits Innisfail
At first I thought I might have been imagining things but the house began to shake and my cup of tea started rippling
– Mandy Kelly
RESIDENTS in the beachside suburb of Flying Fish Point felt the tremors of a s mall earthquake which struck off the coast of Innisfail yesterday.
Geoscience Australia has confirmed reports of a 4.0 magnitude earthquake off the North Queensland coast yesterday afternoon.
The shallow earthquake struck at 4.08pm about 30 kilometres east of Innisfail.
The earthquake is believed to have lasted about four or five seconds involving slight tremors and the sounds of a thunderous roar.
Flying Fish Point Beachf ront Bed and Breakfast owner Mandy Kelly was settling down to a book and a cup of tea yesterday when the walls to her seaside villa began to shake.
Ms Kelly said the tremors came out of nowhere.
‘‘ At first I thought I might have been imagining things but the house began to shake and my cup of tea started rippling,’’ she said.
‘‘ The tremors lasted long enough for me to get up and see what was going on and I could feel the house shaking distinctly.
‘‘ The dog got up and leapt from the bed beside me so he certainly felt something as well.’’
Flying Fish Point Caravan Park resident Liz Mcewen said the tremors had come and gone in a flash.
‘‘ I was lying on the bed and could feel the building shaking through the floor,’’ she said.
‘‘ I went down to talk to some of the other people around here after it had passed and they had felt something similar.’’
At least 15 earthquakes above magnitude 3.0 have occurred within 100km of Innisfail since 1980.
Tremors of the same magnitude have been recorded in the area in November 1989 and May 1990.
Townsville weather forecaster Mario Torrisi said experts were quick to eliminate the threat of a resulting tsunami.
‘‘ This earthquake was far too weak to pose any threat to the Australian coastline,’’ he said.
‘‘ It generally takes about a 6.5 magnitude earthquake for a tsunami to be generated so there was no threat to people or property.
‘‘ It’s not a common occurrence to feel tremors of this magnitude in the area but it has happened in the past.’’
Australia has recorded 17 earthquakes 6.0 or more on the Richter Scale in the last 80 years.
Australia’s rate of earthquakes is about one every five years, compared to a world average of about 140 per year.