List of earthquakes in Australia

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This is a list of significant earthquakes recorded within Australia and its territories. Unless otherwise stated, this list uses the Richter magnitude scale, as most reports use this scale. The currency used is the Australian dollar (A$) unless noted otherwise.

List of earthquakes[edit]

State Location Date Magnitude Effects & Damage Notes & references
New South Wales Newcastle 28 October 1842 5.3 Caused alarm in Newcastle. [1]
- Offshore Cape Schanck 17 September 1855 5.5 Just about awoken and felt by everyone, causing minor damage in Melbourne and surroundings. Largest earthquake recorded along the Selwyn Fault since European Settlement. The Selywn Fault is capable of producing earthquakes between magnitude 7.0- 7.5 roughly every 1800 years.
New South Wales Newcastle 18 June 1868 5.3 Damage in Hunter Street and the Newcastle suburbs of The Hill and Wallsend (then known as Pitt Town). [2]
Victoria Eastern Highlands 29 August 1868 5.0 Felt throughout North-eastern Victoria, Gippsland, Albury and South-eastern New South Wales. Not felt in Melbourne.
Queensland Gayndah 28 August 1883 5.9 Caused major damage in the Gayndah region. [3]
Tasmania and Victoria Tasman Sea 13 July 1884 6.4 Felt in Tasmania and in eastern Victoria[4] Offshore quake
Tasmania and Victoria Tasman Sea 12 May 1885 6.8 Felt in Tasmania and in eastern Victoria[4] Offshore quake
Victoria Cape Liptrap 2 July 1885 5.7 Tied with the 1922 and 1965 events as Victoria's largest earthquake. Felt throughout Victoria, including Melbourne and Geelong. Minor damage around epicentre.
New South Wales/ACT Yass 15 November 1886 5.5 (estimated) Damage caused in Yass, felt strongly in Queanbeyan. [5]
Tasmania and Victoria Tasman Sea 26 January 1892 6.9 Offshore earthquake, felt in Launceston. This was the strongest quake in a sequence of hundreds in the Tasman Sea between 1883 and 1892[4][6]
South Australia Beachport - Robe 10 May 1897 6.5 Several serious and numerous minor injuries. Severe damage to homes, buildings, power lines, and railways. The epicentre was offshore from Beachport and Robe. Most of the buildings in Beachport and Robe were destroyed. Kingston and Mount Gambier experienced severe damage to many buildings. In Adelaide, widespread panic lead to several minor injuries in crowded areas, and structural damage was caused to many buildings, including Parliament House.[7]
South Australia Warooka 19 September 1902 6.0 2 deaths by heart-attack have been attributed to this earthquake. Significant damage to the township of Warooka.[8]
Victoria Warrnambool 14 July 1903 5.3 Extensive minor damage in Warrnambool
Victoria Alpine National Park 10 April 1904 5.0 Felt throughout North East Victoria and Southern New South Wales, but not in Melbourne.
Western Australia Indian Ocean 19 November 1906 7.6 Bottles fell off shelves in Carnarvon, 500 kilometres (311 mi) away. Felt at Albany, Western Australia, 1,700 kilometres (1,056 mi) away. Strongest earthquake recorded in an Australian territory.[9]
Queensland Bundaberg - Rockhampton 7 June 1918 6.0 Caused "serious damage" to Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Gladstone. Offshore earthquake.[10]
Victoria Offshore Ocean Grove 10 April 1922 5.7 Chimney collapse in Glen Iris. Objects thrown from shelves in Cranbourne, East Malvern, Pakenham and Portalington. Felt as far north as Ivanhoe, as far west as Warnambool and as far south as Burnie, Tasmania. A magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck a few kilometres east of this earthquake back on the morning of March 1, 1922, which was felt throughout Melbourne, knocking picture frames off a wall in Cowes.
New South Wales Boolaroo 18 December 1925 5.3 Damage and panic in Hunter Street (particularly at the Theatre Royal). [11]
Tasmania North East Tasmania 29 December 1929 5.6 Significant damage in Launceston, Tasmania, felt across Western Tasmania from Burnie to Hobart. [12][13]
Victoria Mornington 3 September 1932 4.5 Felt widely across Melbourne, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Westernport Bay and Gippsland. Minor damage. Largest earthquake along the infamous Selwyn Fault since the 5.5 magnitude quake of 1855 which occurred a few kilometres offshore Cape Schanck.
New South Wales Gunning 15 November 1934 5.6 Damaged a majority of the buildings in Gunning. The quake was felt strongly in Canberra.[5]
Queensland Gayndah 12 April 1935 5.4 Caused considerable damage to the town of Gayndah. One fatality[14] [15]
Western Australia Meeberrie 29 April 1941 7.2 Severe shaking, burst water tanks and cracked ground at Meeberrie homestead. Minor damage reported in Perth, 500 kilometres (311 mi) away. Strongest onshore earthquake recorded in Australia.[16]
Victoria / Tasmania Bass Strait 15 September 1946 6.2 Minor damage reported in Tasmania from Burnie to Huonville, and in Gippsland, Victoria [17] Offshore earthquake[4][18]
New South Wales Dalton and Gunning 10 March 1949 5.5 Significant damage in Dalton and Gunning, minor cracks in some buildings in Canberra. This quake was felt from Sydney in the north to Narooma and Cooma in the south.[5][19]
South Australia Adelaide 1 March 1954 5.5
8 MM
Damage totaling $90 million. Widespread minor damage. Considerable damage to many buildings.[20]
Western Australia Gabalong 30 August 1955 5.8 Felt in Perth Epicentre near Gabalong, about 30 km east of Moora and 200 km NNE of Perth[21][22]
Victoria Cape Otway 25 December 1960 5.3 Struck at 2:42am on Christmas Day, awakening many across Victoria, including Melbourne. No major damage reported.
New South Wales Robertson and Bowral 21 May 1961 5.6 $4.1 million [23] Damage was caused in Moss Vale, Bowral and Robertson.[24]
Victoria Bass Strait 14 September 1965 5.7 & 5.0 unknown Earthquake doublet off the coast of the Otway Ranges, the first measuring 5.0 on the richter scale occurred at 10:34 PM, and the second measuring 5.7 on the richter scale occurred at 10:53 PM [25][26]
Victoria Mt Hotham 4 May 1966 5.5 Broken Windows at Mt Hotham Ski Village. Felt across North-eastern Victoria, Gippsland and South-eastern New South Wales. Not felt in Melbourne.
Western Australia Meckering 14 October 1968 6.9 20 injuries, no deaths.
60 buildings destroyed.[citation needed] Minor damage in Perth. Total damage $5 million.
In Perth, 130 kilometres (81 mi) away, buildings were reported to have swayed for up to 3 minutes following the quake, which is the second strongest onshore earthquake recorded in Australia. The quake was felt up to 700 kilometres (435 mi) from the epicentre.[27]
Victoria Boolarra, Victoria 20 June 1969 5.3 5.0 aftershock two days later. Cracked walls and stacked chimneys in and around epicentral area. Felt in central and eastern Victoria including Geelong, Benalla and Orbost and on Flinders Island.[28]
Western Australia Calingiri 10 March 1970 5.9 No damage reported This quake was significant in that it was one of only five earthquakes recorded in Australia to have caused surface faulting. It was believed at the time to be related to the 1968 Meckering earthquake, but no connection has yet been demonstrated.[29]
Western Australia Canning Basin 24 March 1970 6.7 Little damage due to the remoteness of the area Part of a sequence of c. 25 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the Canning Basin area of northern Western Australia between 1970 and 1982[30]
Victoria Western Port 7 July 1971 5.0 Minor damage in Cowes, Flinders and Shoreham. Felt throughout Melbourne, Western Port Bay and Gippsland.
Western Australia Canning Basin 16 July 1971 6.4 Part of a sequence of c. 25 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the Canning Basin area of northern Western Australia between 1970 and 1982[30]
New South Wales Picton 9 March 1973 5.6 Damage totaling $2.8 million.[31] Minor damage in Picton, Bowral and Wollongong.[31]
Western Australia Canning Basin 3 October 1975 6.2 Part of a sequence of c. 25 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the Canning Basin area of northern Western Australia between 1970 and 1982[30]
Victoria Balliang 2 December 1977 4.7 A young boy suffered from a broken arm after being shaken from the top of his bunk bed in a caravan on the Mornington Peninsula. Felt strongly in Geelong and across the suburbs of Melbourne, caused minor damage in the Anakie area.[32]
Western Australia Cadoux 2 June 1979 6.1 No injuries.
25 buildings in Cadoux were damaged. Damage cost $3.8 million.
Perth, 180 kilometres (112 mi) away experienced some swaying of tall buildings but no damage was reported. This was one of the largest onshore earthquakes recorded in Australia.[33]
Victoria Offshore Apollo Bay 17 June 1981 5.1 Flower pots knocked off shelves in Apollo Bay. Felt in Melbourne and across southern Victoria.
Victoria Wonnangatta, Victoria 21 November 1982 5.4 The epicentre of this quake was in the remote Wonnangatta Valley, along the Wonnangatta Fault; the quake was mostly felt widely in Eastern Victoria and South Eastern New South Wales and throughout Melbourne and its South Eastern suburbs but not in Geelong.[34]
Northern Territory Marryat Creek 30 March 1986 5.9 Damage was minor, cracked walls observed in DeRose Hill and Victory Downs stations. Felt in Alice Springs 300 kilometres (186 mi) to the north, and Coober Pedy 350 kilometres (217 mi) to the south.[35]
Northern Territory Tennant Creek 22 January 1988 6.7, 6.4, 6.3 Two buildings and 3 other structures damaged, damage caused to natural gas pipeline. Total damage $2.5 million. Three earthquakes of between 6.3 and 6.7 on the Richter scale. Remarkably caused little damage, despite the intensity of the quake. Felt in high-rise buildings as far away as Perth and Adelaide[36][37]
Northern Territory Uluru 28 May 1989 5.7 Minor damage was reported at Yulara resort [38]
New South Wales Newcastle, New South Wales 28 December 1989 5.6 13 fatalities, 160 people hospitalised, 300,000 people affected.
50,000 homes damaged, 300 buildings demolished.
Damage estimated at $4 billion.
To date the most destructive earthquake recorded in Australia, damaging over 50,000 buildings and shutting down the Newcastle CBD for two weeks. Effects of the earthquake were felt over 200,000 square kilometres (77,220 sq mi) up to 800 kilometres (497 mi) away.[39]
Northern Territory Arnhem Land 30 September 1992 5.1 No damage reported Felt in Nhulunbuy, Maningrida and Milingimbi. The crew of HMAS Moresby, anchored in Maningrida at the time, felt the quake strongly
- Banda Sea 4 January 1994 6.8 No injuries, 20 buildings damaged, minor damage to old homes, all in Darwin. Offshore earthquake in the Banda Sea, north of Darwin.[40]
New South Wales Ellalong 6 August 1994 5.4 5 people injured
1,000 homes and 50 other buildings damaged,
Total damage $36 million.
Some buildings badly damaged.[41]
Victoria Mount Baw Baw 25 September 1996 5.0 Thomson Dam region. No major damage [42]
South Australia Burra 5 March 1997 5.0 No major damage Felt over a wide area.
Western Australia Collier Bay 10 August 1997 6.3 Mw No major damage Felt from Broome to Halls Creek and Kununurra. Strongest earthquake recorded in Australia since the 1988 Tennant Creek earthquake.
New South Wales Appin, New South Wales, southwest of Sydney 17 March 1999 4.8 65 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Sydney, New South Wales Depth only 3.2 km. Felt in Sydney and caused 1000 homes to lose power.[43]
- Southern Ocean, southwest of Tasmania 16 December 1999 5.8 Offshore 1,000 kilometres (621 mi) southwest of Hobart[44]
- Cocos Islands 18 June 2000 7.5 Mw Offshore, felt on Cocos Islands but no damage was reported 180 kilometres (112 mi) southeast of Cocos Islands[45]
Victoria Boolarra, Victoria 29 August 2000 5.0 caused minor damage Felt strongly throughout Gippsland and South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.
Western Australia Indian Ocean, Northwest of Western Australia 11 October 2000 5.5 Offshore This quake occurred approximately 230 kilometres (143 mi) northwest of Exmouth[45]
Western Australia Southern Ocean, south of Western Australia 25 December 2000 5.7 Offshore This quake occurred approximately 860 kilometres (534 mi) south of Albany[45]
Western Australia Burakin 28 September 2001 5.1 No damage reported This quake occurred 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Burakin, approximately 190 kilometres (118 mi) northeast of Perth[46]
Victoria Swan Hill, Victoria 27 October 2001 4.8 Felt in Swan Hill near VIC–NSW border, Minor damage including fallen chimneys and fallen shelve items. Power disruptions.
Western Australia Southern Ocean south of Western Australia 12 December 2001 7.0 Mw Offshore, felt in Albany and Esperance 1,020 kilometres (634 mi) south of Esperance[46]
- Southern Ocean, North of Macquarie Island 23 December 2004 8.1 Mw Offshore, felt in Tasmania and New Zealand 500 kilometres (311 mi) north of Macquarie Island, 1,300 kilometres (808 mi) south of Hobart[47]
Tasmania Strahan 14 December 2006 5.0 Offshore [48]
Victoria Korumburra, Victoria 6 March 2009 & 18 March 2009 4.7 & 4.7 Felt widely across Melbourne [49]
Darwin Darwin 26 March 2010 5.5 epicentre 600 km NW of Darwin, felt in Darwin, but no damage reported
- Kalgoorlie-Boulder 20 April 2010 5.0 In the earthquake numerous buildings damaged, mainly in Boulder, two people were injured.[50] Strongest earthquake in the Goldfields region of Western Australia for 50 years.
- Cleve 5 June 2010 5.0 felt at Port Lincoln and Whyalla.[51]
- Banda Sea 13 April 2011 7.1 Felt in Darwin. Offshore earthquake in the Banda Sea, north of Darwin
Queensland Queensland 14 April 2011 5.2 Epicentre between Ayr and Bowen. An earthquake of near this magnitude occurs usually once or twice a decade in Queensland.[52]
Western Australia Indian Ocean, west of Western Australia 17 April 2011 5.2 Offshore 522 km (324 mi) west of Port Hedland.[53]
Western Australia Indian Ocean, northwest of Western Australia 6 December 2011 5.1 Offshore 370 kilometres north-north-east of Carnarvon[54]
South Australia Pukatja-Ernabella 23 March 2012 5.7 Strongest earthquake recorded on the mainland since the 1997 Collier Bay earthquake. Strong shaking was reported by remote Aboriginal communities, but there was no reports of damage.[55] Earthquake occurred in a remote area near the South Australian border with the Northern Territory, 320 kilometres south-south-west of Alice Springs[56]
Victoria 10 km south west of Moe, Victoria 19 June 2012 5.4[57][58] Felt widely across south eastern, north eastern, and parts of western and central Victoria, as well as southern New South Wales. It was felt strongly in Melbourne. Some damage reported in the Latrobe Valley, particularly in Moe and Morwell. It was felt as far away as Bendigo. Strongest earthquake recorded in Victoria since 1982.[59]
Northern Territory Near Mulga Park 08 June 2013 5.8 40 kilometres north of Ernabella earthquake on 23 March 2012[60] [61][62]

Other significant earthquakes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]