Uncommonly Large Earthquake In WA

Last Sunday a magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit near the Western Australian town of Walpole, about 430 kilometres south-east of Perth. Whilst no serious damage was reported, the quake was considered “uncommonly large”. Yet, many are confused as to why Western Australia, which is in the middle of a tectonic plate, are having so many earthquakes. In fact, some of the largest recorded earthquakes across Australia have happened in Western Australia, the largest being a 6.5 magnitude at Meckering in 1968 that injured 20 and left hundreds of families homeless. According to Geoscience Australia, whilst most of the world’s quakes do happen at tectonic boundaries where different plates meet and push against one another, earthquakes can actually occur on any part of the Earth’s surface. Geoscience Australia Senior Seismologist Professor Phil Cummins joined us on The Daily to discuss this further.

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