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, including its external territories: Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island. It is officially used as currency by three independent Pacific Island states: Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. It is legal tender in Australia. Within Australia, it is almost always abbreviated with the dollar sign ($), with A$ or AU$ sometimes used to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents.


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 Beaconsfield 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]
Western Australia Broome 2019-07-146.6MwVIOffshore earthquake with epicentre between Broome and Port Hedland. Minor structural damage reported to buildings and restaurants in Broome itself. [39] [40]
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, 1,681 km (1,045 mi) north of Perth. The urban population was 14,445 in June 2018 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 (68,100 sq mi) 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

The geology of Australia includes virtually all known rock types and from all geological time periods spanning over 3.8 billion years of the Earth's history. Australia is a continent situated on the Indo-Australian Plate.

Related Research Articles

Lists of earthquakes A directory to Wikipedia lists of earthquakes

The following is a list of earthquake lists, and of top earthquakes by magnitude and fatalities.

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

The Lachlan River is an intermittent river that is part of the Murrumbidgee catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, located in the Southern Tablelands, Central West, and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia.

1989 Newcastle earthquake 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.

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 body responsible for emergency management coordination. EMA was transferred from the Attorney-General's Department in a machinery of government change to become a division of the newly established Department of Home Affairs in 2018. 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.

2010 Eureka earthquake

The 2010 Eureka earthquake occurred on January 9 at 4:27:38 pm PST offshore of Humboldt County, California, United States. The magnitude was measured 6.5 on the Mw scale, and its epicenter was located offshore in the Pacific Ocean 33 miles (53 km) west of the nearest major city, Eureka. Additionally, there was a separate earthquake further offshore of Eureka on February 4 with a slightly lower magnitude of 5.9. It was also the most significant earthquake in the Eureka area in terms of magnitude since the 1992 Cape Mendocino earthquakes. It was felt from Santa Cruz County, California in the south, to Eugene, Oregon in the north and to the east as far as Reno, Nevada.

2010 Central Canada earthquake

The 2010 Central Canada earthquake occurred with a moment magnitude of 5.0 in Central Canada on 23 June at about 13:41:41 EDT and lasted about 30 seconds. The epicentre was situated in the area of Buckingham, Quebec, approximately 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Ottawa, Ontario, closest to the settlement of Val-des-Bois, Quebec. Canada's capital, Ottawa, declared this earthquake as being its most powerful in 65 years.

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami magnitude 9.0 - 9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11 March 2011

The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0–9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicentre approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 29 km (18 mi). The earthquake is often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake and is also known as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, the Great Sendai Earthquake, the Great Tōhoku Earthquake, and the 3.11 earthquake.

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.

2011 Lorca earthquake A big earthquake in Lorca (Murcia)

The 2011 Lorca earthquake was a moderate 5.1 Mw earthquake that occurred 6:47 p.m. CEST on 11 May 2011, near the town of Lorca, causing significant localized damage in the Region of Murcia, Spain, and panic among locals, and displacing many from their homes. The quake was preceded by a magnitude 4.4 (Mw) foreshock at 17:05, that inflicted substantial damage to many older structures in the area, including the historical Espolón Tower of Lorca Castle, the Hermitage of San Clemente and the Convent of Virgen de Las Huertas. Three people were killed by a falling cornice. A total of nine deaths have been confirmed, while dozens are reported injured. The earthquake was the worst to hit the region since a 5.0 Mw tremor struck west of Albolote, Granada in 1956.

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.

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.

2009–19 Oklahoma earthquake swarms swarms of earthquakes in Oklahoma extending from 2009 to the present

The 2009–19 Oklahoma earthquake swarms are a series of human activity-induced earthquakes affecting central Oklahoma, southern Kansas, northern Texas. Beginning in 2009, the frequency of earthquakes in the U.S. state of Oklahoma rapidly increased from an average of fewer than two 3.0+ magnitude earthquakes per year since 1978 to hundreds each year in the 2014–17 period. Thousands of earthquakes have occurred in Oklahoma and surrounding areas in southern Kansas and North Texas since 2009. Scientific studies attribute the rise in earthquakes to the disposal of wastewater produced during oil extraction that has been injected more deeply into the ground.


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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.