1961 New South Wales earthquake

Last updated

1961 New South Wales earthquake
Australia New South Wales relief location map.png
Black pog.svg
Black pog.svg
Black pog.svg
Black pog.svg
Black pog.svg
Snowy Mountains
UTC  time1961-05-21 21:40
ISC  eventn/a
Local date22 May 1961
Local time07:40 AEST
Magnitude5.5  ML
Epicenter 34°36′S150°.24′E / 34.600°S 150.00400°E / -34.600; 150.00400 Coordinates: 34°36′S150°.24′E / 34.600°S 150.00400°E / -34.600; 150.00400
Areas affectedAustralia
Total damageAU$3.4 million (1990 value) [1]

The 1961 New South Wales earthquake (also called the Robertson earthquake) occurred on 22 May in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). It reached a Richter magnitude of 5.5 and caused significant structural damage in a wide area. [2]

The earthquake was felt from the Snowy Mountains region in the southeast of the state to Newcastle on the coast about 75 miles (120 km) north of Sydney; to Dubbo in central eastern NSW about 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Sydney; and to Narrandera in the state's central south about 210 miles (340 km) southwest of Dubbo an estimated area of 50,000 square miles (129,500 km2). In the area of Moss Vale, Robertson, and Bowral about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Sydney, the earthquake caused significant structural damage to buildings, while rockfalls blocked the nearby Macquarie Pass. Sydney suffered minimal damage from the earthquake itself, though the tremors and resulting power failures caused "considerable alarm". [2]

Seismograms at the Sydney suburb of Riverview were used to estimate the magnitude of the earthquake. There were only three known earthquakes of comparable magnitude prior to this one, occurring respectively in 1930, 1934 and 1938. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

1964 Alaska earthquake Second most powerful earthquake in recorded history

The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan earthquake and Good Friday earthquake, occurred at 5:36 PM AKST on Good Friday, March 27. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 131 deaths.

Dubbo City in New South Wales, Australia

Dubbo is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with a population of 38,392 at June 2018.

Wellington, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Wellington is a town in the Central Western Slopes region of New South Wales, Australia, located at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers. It is within the local government area of Dubbo Regional Council. The town is 362 kilometres (225 mi) northwest of Sydney on the Great Western Highway and Main Western Railway, and 50 km southeast of Dubbo, the main centre of the Central Western Slopes region.

1989 Newcastle earthquake 28 December 1989 earthquake in New South Wales, Australia

The 1989 Newcastle earthquake occurred in Newcastle, New South Wales on Thursday, 28 December. The shock measured 5.6 on the Richter magnitude scale and was one of Australia's most serious natural disasters, killing 13 people and injuring more than 160. The damage bill has been estimated at A$4 billion, including an insured loss of about $1 billion.

Dalton, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Dalton is a small inland country town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia in Upper Lachlan Shire.

John Whitton

John Whitton, an Anglo–Australian railway engineer, was the Engineer-in-Charge for the New South Wales Government Railways, serving between 1856 and 1890, considered the Father of New South Wales Railways. Under his supervision, it is estimated that 2,171 miles (3,494 km) of railway around New South Wales and Victoria were completed. Whitton was responsible for the construction of parts of the Main Western railway line, in particular the section over the Blue Mountains and the Lithgow Zig Zag, and much of the Main Southern railway line.

1993 Scotts Mills earthquake

The 1993 Scotts Mills earthquake, also known as the "Spring break quake", occurred in the U.S. state of Oregon on March 25 at 5:34 AM Pacific Standard Time. With a moment magnitude of 5.6 and a maximum perceived intensity of VII on the Mercalli intensity scale, it was the largest earthquake in the Pacific Northwest since the Elk Lake and Goat Rocks earthquakes of 1981. Ground motion was widely felt in Oregon's Willamette Valley, the Portland metropolitan area, and as far north as the Puget Sound area near Seattle, Washington.

1952 Kern County earthquake 7.3 earthquake in 1952 in the San Joaquin Valley

The 1952 Kern County earthquake occurred on July 21 in the southern San Joaquin Valley and measured 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale. The main shock occurred at 4:52 am Pacific Daylight Time, killed 12 people and injured hundreds, and caused an estimated $60 million in property damage. A small sector of damage near Bealville corresponded to a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), though this intensity rating was not representative of the majority of damage. The earthquake occurred on the White Wolf Fault near the community of Wheeler Ridge and was the strongest to occur in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

1999 Sydney hailstorm 1999 storm in Australia

The 1999 Sydney hailstorm was the costliest natural disaster in Australian insurance history, causing extensive damage along the east coast of New South Wales. The storm developed south of Sydney on the afternoon of Wednesday, 14 April 1999 and struck the city's eastern suburbs, including the central business district, later that evening.

1857 Basilicata earthquake

The 1857 Basilicata earthquake occurred on December 16 in the Basilicata region of Italy southeast of the city of Naples. The epicentre was in Montemurro, on the western border of the modern province of Potenza. Several towns were destroyed, and estimated fatalities were around 10,000. At the time it was the third largest known earthquake, and has been estimated to have been of magnitude 7.0 on the moment magnitude scale.

1983 Coalinga earthquake

The 1983 Coalinga earthquake struck at 4:42 p.m. Monday, May 2 of that year, in Coalinga, California,

2008 Chino Hills earthquake

The 2008 Chino Hills earthquake occurred at 11:42:15 am PDT on July 29 in Southern California. The epicenter of the magnitude 5.4 earthquake was in Chino Hills, c. 28 miles (45 km) east-southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Though no lives were lost, eight people were injured, and it caused considerable damage in numerous structures throughout the area and caused some amusement park facilities to shut down their rides. The earthquake led to increased discussion regarding the possibility of a stronger earthquake in the future.

1968 Illinois earthquake Largest recorded earthquake in Illinois, US

The 1968 Illinois earthquake was the largest recorded earthquake in the U.S. Midwestern state of Illinois. Striking at 11:02 am on November 9, it measured 5.4 on the Richter scale. Although no fatalities occurred, the event caused considerable structural damage to buildings, including the toppling of chimneys and shaking in Chicago, the region's largest city. The earthquake was one of the most widely felt in U.S. history, largely affecting 23 states over an area of 580,000 sq mi (1,500,000 km2). In studying its cause, scientists discovered the Cottage Grove Fault in the Southern Illinois Basin.

Earthquakes have occurred in Western Australia (WA) on a regular basis throughout its geological history.

1916 Irondale earthquake Earthquake in Alabama on October 18, 1916

The 1916 Irondale earthquake struck in the north–central region of the U.S. state of Alabama on October 18. The strongest earthquake in state history, it registered an estimated Richter scale magnitude of 5.1 and resulted in extensive, but minor damage. This damage, limited to Shelby and Jefferson counties, reached its maximum severity near the epicenter in the city of Irondale, including cracked windows, fallen chimneys, and dried-up wells. While there were no fatalities, the earthquake spawned widespread panic, sending alarmed workers from tall buildings.

1953 Suva earthquake

The 1953 Suva earthquake occurred on 14 September at 00:26 UTC near Suva, Fiji, just off the southeast shore of Viti Levu. This earthquake had an estimated magnitude of Ms 6.8 and Mw 6.4. The earthquake triggered a coral reef platform collapse and a submarine landslide that caused a tsunami. Eight people were reported killed; a wharf, bridges, and buildings were severely damaged in Suva.

June 2011 Christchurch earthquake June 2011 earthquake in New Zealand

The June 2011 Christchurch earthquake was a shallow magnitude 6.0 Mw earthquake that occurred on 13 June 2011 at 14:20 NZST. It was centred at a depth of 7 km (4.3 mi), about 5 km (3 mi) south-east of Christchurch, which had previously been devastated by a magnitude 6.2 MW earthquake in February 2011. The June quake was preceded by a magnitude 5.9 ML tremor that struck the region at a slightly deeper 8.9 km (5.5 mi). The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude of 6.0 Mw and a depth of 9 km (5.6 mi).

2011 Virginia earthquake Earthquake 2011 in Virginia, U.S.

On August 23, 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit the Piedmont region of the U.S. state of Virginia at 1:51:04 p.m. EDT. The epicenter, in Louisa County, was 38 mi (61 km) northwest of Richmond and 5 mi (8 km) south-southwest of the town of Mineral. It was an intraplate earthquake with a maximum perceived intensity of VII on the Mercalli intensity scale. Several aftershocks, ranging up to 4.5 Mw in magnitude, occurred after the main tremor.

1992 St. George earthquake 1992 earthquake

The 1992 St. George earthquake was a Mw5.8 earthquake that occurred on September 2, 1992 at approximately 4:26 AM MDT along the Washington Fault zone near the larger Hurricane Fault about 5 miles (8.0 km) southeast of St. George in Utah, United States. The quake triggered a landslide that destroyed three houses and caused approximately US$1 million in structural and cosmetic damage to houses, roads, natural formations, and utilities. No people were killed by the quake.


  1. "Untitled". Archived from the original on 26 July 2008.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 1 2 3 Cooney, G. H. (8 January 1962). "The New South Wales Earthquake of May 22, 1961". Australian Journal of Physics . 15 (4): 536–548. Bibcode:1962AuJPh..15..536C. doi: 10.1071/PH620536 .