List of earthquakes in Australia

Last updated

This is a list of significant earthquakes recorded within Australia and its territories. The currency used is the Australian dollar (A$) unless noted otherwise.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australian dollar official currency used in Australia; also used in Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu

The Australian dollar is the currency of Australia, and of three independent Pacific Island states, specifically Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. It was introduced on 14 February 1966 when the pre-decimal Australian pound, with its system of shillings and pence, was replaced by the new decimal currency, the Australian dollar.


List of earthquakes

StateLocationDateM MMI DeathsInjuriesTotal damage / notes
Offshore Cape Schanck 1855-09-175.5Minor damage in Melbourne and surroundings.[ citation needed ]
New South Wales Newcastle 1868-06-185.3Damage in Hunter Street and the Newcastle suburbs of The Hill and Wallsend (then known as Pitt Town). [1]
Victoria Eastern Highlands1869-08-305.4Light building damage and smashed windows reported around the Mt Hotham region including in Benalla and Omeo. Felt widely across eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales, including Melbourne and Albury.
South Australia Dorset Vale 1883-07-074.7IV1Felt strongly throughout southern South Australia including within Adelaide where one man was injured after jumping out through a window due to fright.
Queensland Gayndah 1883-08-285.9Caused major damage in the Gayndah region. [2]
Tasmania Flinders Island 1884-07-136.4VIFelt across Tasmania and in eastern Victoria (MMIII-IV). Extensive minor damage across eastern Tasmania including fallen plaster, cracked ceilings and walls, damaged chimneys in Launceston (MMV) and items knocked from shelves. Part of the 1883-1892 West Tasman Sea earthquake swarm.
Tasmania Flinders Island 1884-09-196.4VIFelt across Tasmania and in eastern Victoria. Minor damage in northwest Tasmania. Part of the 1883-1892 West Tasman Sea earthquake swarm.
Western Australia Geraldton 1885-01-056.5V1Minor damage to buildings. Epicentre estimated to be off Geraldton coast.
Tasmania Flinders Island 1885-05-136.8VIFelt across Tasmania and large parts of Victoria, including in Melbourne and Geelong (MMIII), as well as in southeastern New South Wales (MMMIV-V). Extensive minor damage across eastern Tasmania including fallen plaster, cracked ceilings and walls, damaged chimneys, items knocked from shelves, and damage to church spires. Part of the 1883-1892 West Tasman Sea earthquake swarm.
Victoria Cape Liptrap 1885-07-025.7Tied with the 1922 and 1965 events as Victoria's largest earthquake. Felt throughout Victoria, including Melbourne and Geelong. Minor damage around epicentre.
New South Wales/ACT Yass 1886-11-155.5Damage caused in Yass, felt strongly in Queanbeyan. [3]
Tasmania Flinders Island 1892-01-276.9VIIIFelt across Tasmania (MMIV-VI), Victoria (MMIII-V), and southeastern New South Wales (MMV). Extensive minor damage across eastern Tasmania including fallen plaster, cracked ceilings and walls, damaged chimneys, and collapsed verandahs. Part of the 1883-1892 West Tasman Sea earthquake swarm.
South Australia Beachport - Robe 1897-05-106.5UKIX50 NGDC [4]
Victoria Portarlington 1899-11-234.7VMinor damage reported around Portalington and nearby towns including large cracks, smashed windows, and items thrown from shelves. Felt widely across Melbourne, Geelong, and western Gippsland.
South Australia Warooka 1902-09-196.0VIII21Widespread damage to the town's many stone buildings. Minor damage and panic in Adelaide. First earthquake in Australia to have caused fatalities.
Victoria Warrnambool 1903-07-145.3VIIRegarded as Victoria's most damaging earthquake, extensive minor damage occurred throughout Warrnambool and a few nearby towns. Minor damage also occurred by a magnitude 5.0 foreshock in April.
New South Wales Newcastle 1906-05-16UKDamage in the suburb of The Hill. Ruptured water mains. Caused some cliff erosion [5] [6]
New South Wales Taree - Newcastle 1916-06-11UKDamage to the Seal Rocks lighthouse. Caused alarm along the Mid-North Coast. [7]
Queensland Bundaberg - Rockhampton 1918-06-076.0VIOffshore. Caused "serious damage" to Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Gladstone. [8]
Victoria Offshore Ocean Grove 1922-04-105.7VChimney collapse in Glen Iris. Objects thrown from shelves in Cranbourne, East Malvern, Pakenham and Portalington. Felt as far north as Ivanhoe, as far west as Warnambool and as far south as Burnie, Tasmania. A magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck a few kilometres east of this earthquake back on the morning of 1 March 1922, which was felt throughout Melbourne, knocking picture frames off a wall in Cowes.
New South Wales Newcastle 1925-12-185.3Damage and panic in Hunter Street (particularly at the Theatre Royal). [9]
Tasmania North East Tasmania 1929-12-295.6Significant damage in Launceston, Tasmania; felt across Western Tasmania from Burnie to Hobart. [10] [11]
Victoria Benalla 1931-04-174.5VILargest event in a series of earthquakes that occurred near Benalla during the 1930s. Damage included smashed windows, large cracks, collapsed chimneys, and items thrown from shelves.
Victoria Mornington Peninsula 1932-09-035.1VI3Minor damage caused throughout the Mornington Peninsula. Recent analysis has relocated the epicentre to in-between the towns of Moorooduc, Somerville, and Tyabb.
New South Wales Gunning 1934-11-155.6Damaged a majority of the buildings in Gunning. Felt strongly in Canberra. [3]
Queensland Gayndah 1935-04-125.4VI1Caused considerable damage to the town of Gayndah. One fatality. [12] [13]
Victoria Monbulk 1937-06-183.6V1Although a minor earthquake, recent newspaper analysis discovered that this earthquake may have triggered a mining related injury in Moorooduc where a loosened rock fell and struck a young man, resulting in a broken arm.
Western Australia Meeberrie 1941-04-296.3VIIISevere shaking, burst water tanks and cracked ground at Meeberrie homestead. Minor damage reported in Perth, 500 kilometres (311 mi) away.
Victoria / Tasmania Bass Strait 1946-09-156.21Minor damage reported in Tasmania from Burnie to Huonville, and in Gippsland, Victoria. Offshore earthquake [14] [15] [16]
New South Wales Dalton and Gunning 1949-03-105.5Significant damage in Dalton and Gunning; minor cracks in some buildings in Canberra. Felt from Sydney in the north to Narooma and Cooma in the south. [3] [17]
South Australia Adelaide 1954-03-01 5.5VIII16Damage totaling $90 million. Widespread minor damage. Considerable damage to many buildings. [18]
Western Australia Gabalong1955-08-305.8VFelt in Perth. Epicentre near Gabalong, about 30 km east of Moora and 200 km NNE of Perth [19] [20]
Victoria Cape Otway1960-12-255.3VNo major damage reported.
New South Wales Robertson and Bowral 1961-05-21 5.5MLVII$3.4 million
Victoria Mt Hotham1966-05-045.5VBroken Windows at Mt Hotham Ski Village. Felt across North-eastern Victoria, Gippsland and South-eastern New South Wales. Not felt in Melbourne.
Western Australia Meckering 1968-10-14 6.5MwIX33$2.2 million
Victoria Boolarra, Victoria 1969-06-205.3VI5.0 aftershock two days later. Cracked walls and stacked chimneys in and around epicentral area. Felt in central and eastern Victoria including Geelong, Benalla and Orbost and on Flinders Island. [21]
Western Australia Lake Mackay 1970-03-246.0Little damage due to the remoteness of the area. Part of a sequence of c. 25 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the Canning Basin area of northern Western Australia between 1970 and 1982. [22]
Victoria Western Port 1971-07-075.0VIMinor damage in Cowes, Flinders and Shoreham. Felt throughout Melbourne, Western Port Bay and Gippsland.
New South Wales Picton 1973-03-105.5VIDamage totalling $2.8 million. Minor damage in Picton, Bowral and Wollongong [23]
Victoria Balliang 1977-12-024.7V1Felt strongly in Geelong and across the suburbs of Melbourne, caused minor damage in the Anakie area. [24]
Western Australia Cadoux 1979-06-026.1IX525 buildings in Cadoux were damaged. Damage cost $3.8 million. Perth, 180 kilometres (112 mi) away experienced some swaying of tall buildings but no damage was reported. This was one of the largest onshore earthquakes recorded in Australia. [25]
Victoria Wonnangatta, Victoria1982-11-215.4VThe epicentre was in the remote Wonnangatta Valley, along the Wonnangatta Fault; it was mostly felt widely in Eastern Victoria and South Eastern New South Wales and throughout Melbourne and its South Eastern suburbs but not in Geelong. Minor damage was reported in nearby towns. [26]
New South Wales Wyalong 1982-11-264.6VIThe largest event in a series of earthquakes that occurred near Wyalong during 1982. Extensive minor damage reported in Wyalong, West Wyalong, and surrounding towns. In Wyalong damage included cracking of external and internal walls, items thrown from shelves, and a partly collapsed shop awning.
New South Wales Oolong 1984-08-094.3VMinor damage in and around the town of Oolong, including in the town of Dalton where the spire of St Matthews Anglican Church was permanently knocked side ways. Produced the highest Peak Ground Acceleration reading in Australian history.
New South Wales Lithgow 1985-02-134.3V-VIIMinor damage in and around the town of Lithgow including demolished chimneys, smashed windows, and cracked masonry walls. Power outages were also reported. The total damage came to $65,000.
Northern Territory Marryat Creek1986-10-305.9Damage was minor, cracked walls observed in DeRose Hill and Victory Downs stations. Felt in Alice Springs 300 kilometres (186 mi) to the north, and Coober Pedy 350 kilometres (217 mi) to the south. [27]
Northern Territory Tennant Creek 1988-01-226.2, 6.3, 6.6VIITwo buildings and 3 other structures damaged, damage caused to natural gas pipeline. Total damage $2.5 million. Three earthquakes of between 6.3 and 6.7 on the Richter scale. Remarkably caused little damage, despite the intensity of the quake. Felt in high-rise buildings as far away as Perth and Adelaide [28] [29]
Northern Territory Uluru 1989-05-285.7VIIMinor damage was reported at Yulara resort [30]
New South Wales Newcastle, New South Wales 1989-12-28 5.6MLVIII13160$4 billion in damage
New South Wales Ellalong 1994-08-065.451,000 homes and 50 other buildings damaged. Total damage $36 million. [31]
Victoria Mount Baw Baw 1996-09-255.0VIDespite the minor damage reported around the quake's epicentre, this event is noteworthy as it was the largest earthquake in a swarm triggered by the creation of the Thomson Dam, dating back to the late 1970s. [32]
South Australia Burra 1997-03-055.0No major damage. Felt over a wide area.
Western Australia Collier Bay1997-08-106.3 Mw No major damage. Felt from Broome to Halls Creek and Kununurra. Strongest earthquake recorded in Australia since the 1988 Tennant Creek earthquake.
New South Wales Appin, New South Wales, southwest of Sydney 1999-03-174.8V65 kilometres (40 mi) southwest of Sydney, New South Wales. Depth only 3.2 km. Felt in Sydney and caused 1000 homes to lose power. [33]
Victoria Boolarra, Victoria 2000-08-295.0VCaused minor damage. Felt strongly throughout Gippsland and Melbourne.
Victoria Swan Hill, Victoria 2001-10-274.8VFelt in Swan Hill near VIC–NSW border, Minor damage including fallen chimneys and fallen shelve items. Power disruptions.
Tasmania Beaconsfield, Tasmania 2006-04-252.212This micro earthquake triggered the Beaconsfiled Mine Collapse.
Western Australia Kalgoorlie 2010-04-205.2MwV2Extensive damage to buildings throughout Kalgoorlie- Boulder.
Victoria Gippsland 2012-06-19 5.4MLVI1Minor extensive damage reported around the Gippsland area, including smashed windows, items thrown from shelves, destroyed chimneys, and ceiling tile collapses. An indirect minor injury reported from a man who fell from a ladder in Melbourne's suburbs. Damage bill in the millions. Largest aftershock was a magnitude 4.4 just over a month later, and was too felt across Gippsland and Melbourne.
Queensland Coral Sea 2015-07-305.5MwVSlight building damage [34]
New South Wales Orange, NSW 2017-04-134.3MwIV3Slight damage to Cadia-Ridgeway Mine and was felt in Orange, Bathurst, Blayney, Millthorpe, Molong and surrounds. Caused damage to houses and farms 7 km around. [35]
Western Australia Lake Muir 2018-9-165.7MwNo damage, felt in South West, Great Southern, Peel and Wheatbelt regions. [36]
Western Australia Lake Muir 2018-10-134.7Mw [37]
Western Australia Lake Muir 2018-11-95.4Mw [38]
The inclusion criteria for adding events are based on WikiProject Earthquakes' notability guideline that was developed for stand alone articles. The principles described are also applicable to lists. In summary, only damaging, injurious, or deadly events should be recorded. Mw = moment magnitude scale | Ms = surface wave magnitude | UK = Unknown

Other earthquakes

Broome, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Broome is a coastal, pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 2,240 km (1,390 mi) north of Perth. The urban population was 13,984 at the 2016 Census growing to over 45,000 per month during the peak tourist season.

Simpson Desert desert in Central Australia

The Simpson Desert is a large area of dry, red sandy plain and dunes in Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland in central Australia. It is the fourth largest Australian desert, with an area of 176,500 km2 and is the world's largest sand dune desert.

See also

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

Geology of Australia

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Related Research Articles

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Lachlan River tributary to the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, Australia

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Severe storms in Australia

Severe storms in Australia. refers to the storms, including cyclones, which have caused severe damage in Australia.

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) is an Australian Government agency responsible for emergency management coordination. EMA currently sits within the Federal Attorney General's Department. Emergency Management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

The Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone (ETSZ), also known as the East Tennessee Seismic Zone and the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone, is a geographic band stretching from northeastern Alabama to southwestern Virginia that is subject to frequent small earthquakes. The ETSZ is one of the most active earthquake zones in the eastern United States.

Bushfires in Australia frequent wildfire events

Bushfires are frequent events during the warmer months of the year, due to Australia's mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas. On one hand, they can cause property damage and loss of human life. Certain native flora in Australia have evolved to rely on bushfires as a means of reproduction, and fire events are an interwoven and an essential part of the ecology of the continent. For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians have used fire to foster grasslands for hunting and to clear tracks through dense vegetation.

April 2011 Fukushima earthquake earthquake in Japan

The April 2011 Fukushima earthquake was a potent magnitude 6.6 Mw intraplate aftershock that occurred at 17:16 JST (08:16 UTC) on 11 April, in the Hamadōri region of Fukushima, Japan. With a shallow focus of 13 km (8.1 mi), the earthquake was centred inland about 36 km (22 mi) west of Iwaki, causing widespread strong to locally severe shaking. It was one of many aftershocks to follow the 11 March Tōhoku earthquake, and the strongest to have its epicentre located inland.

1954 Adelaide earthquake

The 1954 Adelaide earthquake had its epicentre at Darlington, a suburb of the city of Adelaide in South Australia, some 12 km (7.5 mi) to the south of the Adelaide city centre. The quake took place at 3.40am in the early morning of 1 March 1954 and had a reported magnitude of 5.6. An area of more than 700 km² sustained an intensity greater than V on the Mercalli intensity scale.

2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes earthquake

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1935 Helena earthquake

The 1935 Helena earthquake occurred at 22:48:02 MDT on October 18 in Montana, with an epicenter near Helena. It had a magnitude of 6.2 on the surface wave magnitude scale and a maximum perceived intensity of VIII (Severe) on the Mercalli intensity scale. The temblor on that date was the largest of a series of earthquakes that also included a large aftershock on October 31 of magnitude 6.0 and a maximum intensity of VIII. Two people died in the mainshock and two others died as a result of the October 31 aftershock. Property damage was over $4 million.

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  4. Hoy, Tiffany (July 10, 2012), Australia's worst earthquakes, Australian Geographic
  5. ""EARTHQUAKE" AT NEWCASTLE". Trove. The Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times. 17 May 1906. p. 3. Retrieved 11 Mar 2015.
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  9. "Boolaroo (Hunter region) NSW: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  10. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. "Severe Earth Tremor". Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954). 1929-12-30. p. 7.
  12. 20 August 2011. Seismicity in Australia. University of Western Australia. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  13. "Gayndah, Qld: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  14. "Bass Strait Earthquake". Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954). 1946-09-16. p. 1.
  15. "Unknown".[ dead link ]
  16. "Launceston, Tas: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  17. "Dalton and Gunning, NSW: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  18. C. Kerr-Grant (10 November 1955). "The Adelaide Earthquake of 1st March 1954" (PDF). South Australian Museum . Retrieved 4 April 2009.[ permanent dead link ];
    "Adelaide, SA: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 17 August 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  19. Gabalong WA: Earthquake details. Geoscience Australia. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  20. "Seismicity of Western Australia - Large earthquakes of Western Australia". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  21. "Earthquakes @ GA — Earthquake Details". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  22. "Unknown". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008.
  23. "The big shake..." Sun-Herald. 11 March 1973.
  24. "Unknown". Archived from the original on 13 September 2009.
  25. "The Cadoux Earthquake, 2 June 1979". Seismicity of Western Australia. University of Western Australia. 28 March 2004. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  26. "Earthquakes @ GA — Earthquake Details". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  27. "Unknown". Archived from the original on 13 September 2009.
  28. Bowman, J.R. (November 1992). "The 1988 Tennant Creek, northern territory, earthquakes: A synthesis". Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. 39 (5): 651–669. Bibcode:1992AuJES..39..651B. doi:10.1080/08120099208728056.
  30. "Unknown". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008.
  31. "Ellalong - Cessnock (Hunter Valley), NSW: Earthquake". EMA Disasters Database. Emergency Management Australia. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  32. "Baw Baw Highlights". Archived from the original on 28 May 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2009.;
    "1996-09-25, Thomson Reservoir, Intensity Map". seismology research centre. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  33. "AEES Newsletter" (PDF). February 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  34. USGS. "M 5.5 - 128km ENE of Rainbow Beach, Australia". United States Geological Survey.
  35. Kathleen Calderwood (2017-04-14). "NSW earthquake: Gold mine evacuated, residents in Orange woken up by shaking". ABC.
  36. "Magnitude-5.7 earthquake rocks southern WA". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  37. "Magnitude-4.7 earthquake rocks area surrounding Lake Muir in WA's Great Southern". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 13 October 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  38. Ben Anserson (9 November 2018). "Earthquake at Lake Muir shakes Perth and WA's South West". News Corporation . Retrieved 9 November 2018.


The United States National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) provided scientific stewardship, products and services for geophysical data describing the solid earth, marine, and solar-terrestrial environment, as well as earth observations from space. In 2015, NGDC was merged with the National Climatic Data Center and the National Oceanographic Data Center into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration An American scientific agency within the US Department of Commerce that focuses on the oceans and the atmosphere

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.

Digital object identifier Character string used as a permanent identifier for a digital object, in a format controlled by the International DOI Foundation

In computing, a Digital Object Identifier orDOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to uniquely identify objects, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Earthquakes in Australia at Wikimedia Commons

Geoscience Australia agency of the Australian Government

Geoscience Australia is an agency of the Australian Government. It carries out geoscientific research. The agency is the government's technical adviser on all aspects of geoscience, and custodian of the geographic and geological data and knowledge of the nation.