Earthquake shakes Port Hedland, WA

19 May 2005

An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale occurred early this morning 50km NNE of Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The earthquake occurred at 09.39am AEST (23:39 UT) and was felt by many residents in Port Hedland.

"This size event is not structurally damaging, but was large enough to be felt up to 100kms away," said Geoscience Australia Duty Seismologist Dr Cvetan Sinadinovski.

This is the largest event in the area for the past 35 years. Smaller earthquakes measuring around 3 on the Richter scale occur every 3-4 years: the last one was in May 2003.

"This intraplate event happened just onshore, and is not capable of causing a tsunami," reports Dr Sinadinovski. "Intraplate events are usually caused by the movement of small geological blocks, away from plate boundaries."

For more information or to arrange an interview, call the Geoscience Australia Duty Seismologist on 0407 216 622 or the Geoscience Australia Media Hotline (24 hours) on Freecall 1800 882 035.

For a list of the most recent earthquakes and felt reports, visit the Geoscience Australia recent earthquakes page.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013