Strongest earthquake in six years hits Norseman, Western Australia

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A magnitude 5.2 quake – the strongest earthquake since 2010 – hit Norseman, Western Australia on May 28, 2016.

People as far away as Perth and Esperance reported feeling the earth shake.

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Norseman M5.2 earthquake map: Epicenter: green circle; I felt it area: black circle. via Geoscience Australia

The whole region shook for about ten seconds. The earthquake was felt by people at least 206 kilometres away in Esperance and as fas as Perth (700 km from epicenter).

The major quake was followed by two weaker tremors. The first M4.9 earthquake hit at about 11.30pm, about 6km below the earth’s surface. It was followed by a 5.2-magnitude quake, that was felt as far away as Perth and a 3.2-magnitude aftershock. More aftershocks are forecast for the coming weeks.

The quakes’ epicentre had been far enough from settlements not to cause any danger.

Western Australia’s largest-ever earthquake was a 6.5-magnitude shock in Meckering in 1968, but this one had been the largest since 2010’s 5.0 quake in Kalgoorlie.

There is no Tsunami threat to Australia.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in WA, and the Wheatbelt is one of the most active earthquake regions in Australia.

The vast majority of earthquakes in Australia are all about the release of tectonic stress. Australia sits on the fastest moving tectonic plate, travelling about seven centimetres per year to the north, and it’s colliding with the fastest moving Pacific plate around where Papua New Guinea and Indonesia sit.

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