Rare 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Western Australia

September 16, 2018 Updated: September 16, 2018

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit south-west Western Australia at 12:56 p.m. local time on Sept. 16, according to Geoscience Australia.

The earthquake occurred near Lake Muir which lies around 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of the state’s capital city of Perth. The epicenter of the quake was around 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the surface.

Staff at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology office in West Perth reported on Twitter that their forecasting offices were swaying for a few minutes from the uncommonly strong quake, commenting that it was “quite disconcerting.”

Lisa from Walpole, just south of Lake Muir, who did not want to provide her last name told Fairfax that locals had experienced “a couple of tremors over the last few days, but this was much bigger.”

Senior Geoscience Australia seismologist Phil Cummins told the ABC that the quake was the second to hit the region this week.

“It occurred roughly between Walpole and Kojonup on the south coast, it was felt all the way from Albany up to Perth,” he told the ABC.

“It is quite a large earthquake, it is large enough to cause damage but it’s unlikely to have done so because it occurred in a relatively remote area.

“About a week ago there was one offshore from Albany which was felt in that same area, [but] it was much smaller.”

Cummins said that large earthquakes like the one felt are relatively rare in Western Australia. “You would expect to get a 5.6 (magnitude) maybe once every couple of years throughout Australia,” he told the ABC.

According to the Australian Geographic, despite being in the center of a tectonic plate, Australia still experiences an average of one small earthquake a day. This is the result of the build up of pressure within the Indo-Australian plate, on which Australia sits, from its being pushed around by “the Pacific plate in the east and the Eurasian plate to the north,” the Geographic explains.

From NTD.tv

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