Re­gion rat­tled by 5.7 earth­quake

Great Southern Herald - - News - Toby Hussey and Saskia Adysti

The big­gest earth­quake to hit West­ern Aus­tralia in 20 years rat­tled homes in Katan­ning and sur­round­ing ar­eas on Sun­day.

Walls shook and win­dows bowed in the 5.7 mag­ni­tude quake, which took place near Lake Muir about 124km north-west of Al­bany at 12.56pm, with the tremors felt from Perth to Bre­mer Bay.

It was the sev­enth earth­quake in WA this month and the fifth­biggest on record.

The tremors could be felt over a 300km ra­dius and were picked up by 13 re­port­ing sta­tions in WA and South Aus­tralia.

It pre­ceded smaller 2.1 mag­ni­tude earth­quakes later on Sun­day af­ter­noon and evening.

No in­jury or dam­age is known to have oc­curred in any of the in­ci­dents.

A se­nior seis­mol­o­gist at Geo­science Aus­tralia, Phil Cum­mins, said a quake that size was rare in Aus­tralia.

As the earth­quake’s epi­cen­tre was in a re­mote part of WA where there are few build­ings, it was un­likely to cause se­ri­ous dam­age.

Mr Cum­mins said af­ter­shocks may be felt for sev­eral weeks.

“It’s al­ways pos­si­ble these could be lead­ing up to some­thing big­ger but I think it’s more likely we’ll see a de­crease in size and fre­quency,” he said.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to say if it’s ran­dom sta­tis­ti­cal clus­ter­ing or if there is some­thing else go­ing on.”

Walpole IGA man­ager James Grif­fiths said his shop, which was about 50km away from the epi­cen­tre, shook for sev­eral mo­ments dur­ing the big­ger earth­quake.

“It was quite a sub­stan­tial shake,” he said.

“It re­ally rat­tled the whole shop and you could hear it quite well.

“It was also felt in other places. One of my staff at their house could hear it at Myalup.”

David Ed­monds was at the Walpole Art Gallery when the earth­quake hit. “It was re­ally bizarre,” he said. “Ev­ery­thing was rum­bling like a truck — all the fur­ni­ture was rat­tling.

“It was re­ally quite un­nerv­ing.”

The earth­quake could be felt from Perth to Hopetoun.

Three earth­quakes have been recorded in the area this month.

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