Region rattled by 5.7 earthquake
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.