Major earthquake in Banda Sea shakes Darwin

03 March 2005

A large earthquake occurred late this evening in the Banda Sea, north of Darwin.

The earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale occurred at 09.42pm AEDST (10:42:05 UT) about 660 kilometres North of Darwin.

"The event occurred approximately 190 kilometres below the surface and is extremely unlikely to have caused a tsunami", said Geoscience Australia Seismologist Dr Spiro Spiliopoulos.

The earthquake was felt in Darwin and surrounding areas with reports of windows shaking for over a minute. At this stage there has been no recorded damage in the Darwin area.

"Banda Sea is located on a plate boundary, and consequently earthquakes are quite common in this area, Dr Spiliopoulos said. The last magnitude 7 earthquake in this particular area was in Dec, 1995".

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