Small quake hits In­n­is­fail

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Ryan Mathe­son ryan. mathe­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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