Queensland's Sunshine Coast feels largest earthquake in nearly a century

30 July 2015

A map of the Queensland coast showing where the earthquake occurred

A location map showing the 5.3
earthquake felt off Queensland's
Sunshine Coast on 30 July 2015

Residents on the Queensland east coast started their day in unusual circumstances this morning when an offshore earthquake shook areas from the south Gold Coast all the way to Gladstone.

The magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred at 9.41am Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) 100kms east of Queensland's Sunshine Coast at a depth of approximately 30km.

Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Dr Jonathan Bathgate said that over 1200 felt reports had been received from as far away as 300km from the epicentre.

"This type of information is vitally important to building our understanding of seismic activity in this area and we are hoping that many more people jump online and share their experiences with us," Dr Bathgate said.

"Queensland is actually one of Australia's least seismically active states, but there is a history of earthquakes occurring offshore - the largest of which were two earthquakes recorded near Gladstone in 1918 measuring magnitude 5.7 and 6.0," he added.

No injuries or major damage are expected from the earthquake, however there have been reports of minor damage to walls and tiled areas. The Bureau of Meteorology quickly issued a nil tsunami threat of tsunami to Australia following the earthquake.

An aftershock of magnitude 3.9 was measured at 09:45am followed by a magnitude 3.4 at 11:59am AEST, with other smaller aftershocks expected in the coming days and weeks.

The quake is a result of the northwards movement of the Australian plate approximately seven centimetres a year, which imparts stresses within the crust.

This is the largest earthquake in Queensland since a magnitude 5.1 occurred near Eidsvold, southeast of Bundaberg, in February 2015.

Did you feel the earthquake?

If you have felt an earthquake in Australia please visit and share your experience. There is a simple online earthquake report form that includes a series of questions to obtain information about shaking windows, loud noises or any immediate building damage. This information helps seismologists in gaining a greater understanding of this naturally occurring Earth process.

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