Geoscience Australia recorded a M5.5 earthquake south-east of Norseman at 5.40pm (9.40am UTC) on June 8, 2016.
Rumblings were felt in Perth and loud booms around the epicenter after Western Australia’s strongest earthquake in almost 30 years shook the Goldfields during 45 seconds on Friday late afternoon.
A M5.5 earthquake hit in the Norseman area, Western Australia, 720 kilometres east of Perth at 5.40pm. The epicentre, at a depth of approximately 16km, was situated beneath an uninhabited area, in the Dundas Nature Reserve. It is the biggest onshore earthquake recorded in WA since a magnitude 5.7 quake near Derby in 1988. The main quake was followed by two minor tremors: M3.2 and M3.3.
In Salmon Gums, the shaking lasted about 45 seconds. Here’s a witness report:
“We had just had dinner. First of all there were loud earth noises, you could hear the rumble coming and then there was five fairly large jolts in succession. Then the rumble continued and you could see small items start to move on the shelves. So I went outside and all the birds had flown into the sky and they were all screeching.”
The earthquake was also loud and strong in Esperance, about 154km (94mi) away, as explained by a resident:
“At 5:40pm the windows and the sliding doors started moving — and the floor — and Roy could hear the tiles on the roof and I raced outside and I could hear a very loud growling noise. Then I rang a friend where I work and she said she was sitting in the office and her office desk started moving, so she raced out of the office to check residents at the local nursing home, hostel and they were all stunned, because the windows had all shuddered.”
There were several unconfirmed reports on social media that the quake was felt in Perth.
— XS (@xaviersusai) July 8, 2016
The Norseman area has experienced several minor quakes this year, including a 5.2-magnitude end of May 2016.