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‘Moderate’ Earthquake Off Coast And More To Come

By Paige Miller

In the ongoing saga of aftershocks from the record August 2016 earthquake, a medium sized quake was recorded off the coast on the weekend and a researcher says we should expect more.

Reaching a magnitude of 3.5, the earthquake happened at 4.13am Saturday, 65km north-east of Bowen, in the middle of the Whitsunday Passage.

The 10-second impact was small enough that no one on the mainland would have felt it, but Central Queensland Seismology Research Group Lead Seismology Mike Turnbull believed people on islands could have noticed the tremor.

“The earthquake was in line with what I’d expect and what I forewarned,” Mr Turnbull said.

“That we would be having theses sorts of aftershocks up to 12 months or more after the main event.

“The 3.5 probably would’ve been felt by people on the Whitsunday islands, though I doubt it would’ve caused damage anywhere.”

A spokesperson from Hamilton Island said they hadn’t noticed any tremors or quakes on Saturday morning.

The quake has not yet been officially recorded by Geoscience Australia.

On August 18 a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Bowen, the second biggest quake ever recorded on the east coast of Australia.

In the couple of months following, hundreds of aftershocks were recorded, but many were too small to be noticeable.

Mr Turnbull said this is normal after major quakes and could continue for up to 12 months or more.

“I haven’t had a chance to look at the rate of small aftershocks at the moment, but I suspect that they’re still ongoing, those small ones that people don’t feel,” he said.

“As time moves on from the main event, the average magnitude of the aftershock tends to tail off.

“However, around the average you get some which are below, but often you’ll get some which are above and that’s what this one was.

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next six months we had a magnitude four quake.”

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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