Quake ac­ti­vates dor­mant fault line

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Taelor Pelusey

Sun­day’s 5.7 mag­ni­tude earth­quake could pave the way for more tremors in the area over time and ad­di­tional equip­ment has now been de­ployed to mon­i­tor the ac­ti­vated fault.

Geo­science Aus­tralia se­nior duty seis­mol­o­gist Dan Jaksa told the Times the quake was “un­usual” in that it was an in­traplate event (not on a tec­tonic bound­ary) and there had been no other events in that lo­ca­tion since record­ing be­gan about a cen­tury ago.

“When an earth­quake oc­curs in a re­gion, the prob­a­bil­ity of an­other . . . is in­creased be­cause the fault there has be­come ac­tive and along the fault there is the pos­si­bil­ity of trig­ger­ing other events,” he said.

“You find stresses in Aus­tralia be­cause the plate is mov­ing north-east about 7cm a year to­wards Pa­pua New Guinea where it col­lides with the fastest mov­ing tec­tonic plate on Earth, the Pa­cific Plate.”

Mr Jaksa said it was im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict when and where tremors would oc­cur, but con­firmed Geo­science Aus­tralia had now set up six ad­di­tional tem­po­rary mon­i­tors and hoped for re­al­time data stream­ing.

“The idea of do­ing the af­ter­shock de­ploy­ment is to get a bet­ter feel of the fault that has been ac­ti­vated here,” he said.

There have been a se­ries of af­ter­shocks, most im­per­cep­ti­ble and oc­cur­ring on the same day.

The ini­tial 5.7 mag­ni­tude quake be­tween Ko­jonup and Walpole was among the big­gest in WA’s his­tory and felt right across the south­ern part of the State.

Yallingup’s An­nie Palmer felt two tremors, the first of which was stronger.

“It woke my hus­band who was asleep, but we live in a steel­framed house so likely to get more of a tremor than one on a slab in La­goon Drive,” she said.

Gnarabup’s Stacey Watts said it took some time to fig­ure out what was hap­pen­ing.

“I could feel the couch mov­ing and at first I thought it was a strong gust . . . then I re­alised it was an earth­quake,” she said.

Res­i­dents as far as Perth re­ported feel­ing the quake but there were no re­ported in­juries.

I could feel the couch mov­ing and at first I thought it was a strong gust . . . then I re­alised it was an earth­quake. Stacey Watts

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