One of Australia's most serious natural disasters occurred when an earthquake shook Newcastle in New South Wales, leaving 13 people dead and injuring more than 160.
The damage bill has been estimated at around A$4 billion dollars, including an insured loss of over A$1 billion. All the result of just a few seconds of earthquake ground shaking at 10:27am on 28 December 1989 (McCue and others, 1990).
The consequences of this moderate earthquake to Newcastle (Pop. 300 000), an industrial city on Australia's east coast, could so easily have been avoided with the hindsight of history and the application of relatively inexpensive earthquake engineering principles.