Earthquake near Katanning, WA

10 October 2007

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake occurred 30km south of Katanning, West Australia at 7:58am Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) today.

Generally an earthquake of this size would be felt up to 140 kilometres away from the epicentre, however, Geoscience Australia has received felt reports from areas of Perth, 260 kilometres NW of the event.

"Several people in the immediate area have reported windows and walls shaking, but we have no reports of any damage from the earthquake," said Senior Seismologist, Dr Spiro Spiliopoulos.

"Earthquakes of this size are fairly uncommon in Australia. For the whole of the South West corner of WA, between Perth and Albany, it was the biggest earthquake in at least 40 years," he said.

"This type of seismic event, called an intraplate earthquake, is part of the Earth's natural dynamic processes. The Australian continent is part of the Indian-Australian plate which is moving slowly north-east at approximately 7cm per year," said Dr Spiliopoulos.

Geoscience Australia monitors earthquakes 24/7 with over 39 seismic stations scattered around Australia detecting movements of the Earth. Information from these stations is transmitted automatically to the central office in Canberra, where seismologists determine the location, magnitude and depth of the earthquake.

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