Three quakes rumble the Pilbara

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Three earthquakes have hit the Pilbara in a matter of days.

A “significant” earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8 was recorded at 1.15am on June 10 south-west of Telfer at a depth of 10km.

Two smaller earthquakes followed with a 2.8 magnitude at 2am the same day south-west of Telfer followed by a magnitude 2.5 earthquake north-east of Newman at 7.28am last Wednesday.

Geoscience Australia duty seismologist Andrea Thomm said while no damage was caused, being above a 3.0 magnitude the quakes significant in terms of research.

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“In WA being not densely populated, we didn’t receive reports of it being felt but according to our data it could have been felt from 50km to 100km away from the original location,” she said. Despite Australia being almost directly in the middle of a tectonic plate, earthquakes occur almost daily with WA accounting for almost a third of those.

“Australia’s plate is very fast-moving at 6cm to the north a year and this causes friction in the interior of Earth which is then released through weaknesses in the crust,” she said.

“These weaknesses can be anything from a fault line, like in New Zealand, or just in thin areas.

“Our crust is quite old and has become brittle.

“This makes it very hard to predict where these will happen.

“We know it will happen but not where or when, there’s still a lot of research to do.”

Ms Thomm said locals should visit the website at ga.gov.au and report if they feel seismic activity.

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