PERTH: People in Western Australia’s north have been warned of more aftershocks from the nation’s equal-biggest earthquake, which fortunately struck 210 kilometres offshore.
After a magnitude 6.6 undersea quake was recorded between Port Hedland and Broome on Sunday afternoon, a cluster of more than 30 significant aftershocks were detected in the same area on Monday morning.
The Sunday’s quake was severest in the nation’s history, but it did not cause any major damage.
Geoscience Australia data shows its severity matched a quake in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory in 1988.
The nation’s 10 biggest quakes have all been in WA and the NT, but the 5.6 magnitude Newcastle quake in NSW in 1989 was the most devastating, killing 13 people, injuring many others and causing billions of dollars of damage.
The Newcastle quake’s epicentre was in suburban Boolaroo, 19km from the city centre, while Sunday’s occurred well off the coast.
“We were fortunate it happened some 200km out to sea,” WA’s Emergency Services commissioner Darren Klemm told reporters.
The quake jolted items off shop shelves and caused minor damage including cracks in some buildings, probably due to cyclone-rated construction in the region.
“It certainly could be worse,” Mr Klemm said.
WA Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said locals had been spooked by the possibility of it triggering a tsunami.