Breaking news, my friends…
At 2.30pm today, 18th August, north Queensland experienced a 5.7–5.8 Richter scale earthquake. My house is made of wood, and it was just vibrating for a good 10 seconds. Lamps swung, windows rattled, pictures slipped. Strangely, I didn’t feel any alarm.
Further up the coast in Bowen and Airlie Beach, they’ll have felt it even more strongly, as that’s where the epicentre was located (Lat -19.851, Long 148.664).
Preliminary assessment from Geoscience Australia put the quake at 5.8. The US Geological Survey puts it at 5.7, but I don’t think that 0.1 makes much of a difference to the overall effect!
Luckily, there’s no danger of a tsunami any more at this point… We’re low-lying, at sea level, and after a significant seismic event, that’s always a possibility. The epicentre was only 52km offshore, and if it was going to happen, we’d have seen activity by now.
What we should expect are a few aftershocks…
Since I wrote this, we’ve had 6 aftershocks ranging in intensity from 2.5 to 4 on the Richter scale:
FINAL UPDATE, 10.30pm
In the 8 hours since the quake, there have been 9 aftershocks, a 5.4 Richter quake in Papua New Guinea and a 5.3 quake in the Banda Sea near East Timor. If you go to the Geoscience Australia link given above, you’ll see the seismic story unfolding. There is a chain of events stretching from the Andaman Sea between Sri Lanka and Malaysia to just south of Tonga. This region is suddenly geologically active. Let’s hope we don’t live in too interesting times….