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#AceNewsDesk – Earthquakes rattle Cairns and Grafton on Australia’s east coast overnight
Two Australian cities have been shaken by earthquakes overnight.
Geoscience Australia said a 4.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded about 10:15pm, 125 kilometres off the coast of Cairns.
A magnitude 3.1 earthquake was also recorded in the Pillar Valley, south east of Grafton on the New South Wales’ north coast about 2am.
There have been no reports of damage or injury from either event although residents have reported the earth shaking.
There were no tsunami warnings.
Geoscience Australia said it had received reports the Far North Queensland earthquake was felt in Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Innisfail and Babinda.
Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said that although Australia tends to experience earthquakes in “random locations” the Grafton quake was not typical.
“It is quite unusual, we haven’t got many earthquakes on record from the Grafton region,” he said.
He said the Cairns quake was a “reasonably significant” earthquake.
“There is a history of earthquakes in this offshore region, so we are not surprised about this event,” he said.
“We’ve had about 20 people report to us that they felt it across the Cairns region.
“We get on average about 100 magnitude 3 earthquakes across the country every year and about 10 magnitude 4 events each year.
He said there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Innisfail in 2003, and a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in 1990 in the same area.Loading…
Mr Bathgate said the tremors were the result of constant shifts in the tectonic plate Australia sits above.
“It’s all caused by the Australian plate moving north at about 7 centimetres every year, and that imparts stresses on local fault lines that often give way with relatively small earthquakes,” he said.
“But occasionally some larger ones can occur.”
Residents report rattling
Sue Richards from Atherton said she’d just got into bed when her windows rattled.
“I thought it must be a bit of wind,” Ms Richards said.
“Then I thought it was earth-moving equipment but I now know what it was.”
Millaa Millaa resident Wilma told ABC Local Radio she felt her home, west of Cairns, shaking.
“I felt the ground shaking,” she said.
“I live on the highway and there were no trucks going past at the time.”Minnie Water woman Kelly Whitehouse at work in a café at Wooli, just hours after she felt an earthquake.(Supplied)none
Kelly Whitehouse from Minnie Water, east of Grafton, said she felt the quake when she woke to let her dog out of the house.
“The dog just started going nuts and then I could feel it through the floor and everything was rattling a bit,” she said.
“The sound was so loud you could feel the vibration through the floor.
“It wasn’t comfortable, I could not go back to sleep after that. It was pretty daunting.”
Mr Bathgate said that many of the earthquakes that take place in Australia go unnoticed.
“For an earthquake this size, it’s more about what people hear rather than what they feel,” he said.
“There’s not a lot of associated shaking with a magnitude 3; it’s generally sort of a rumble or a loud booming sound.
“They’re relatively short-lived, and it’s not until you get up into the magnitude 4s and greater that you get the shaking and things moving off shelves and things like that.”
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