Wednesday 16 March 2011

Quake near Cairns. WTF?

Did the earth move for you?

The earthquake off the coast of Innisfail, just south of Cairns on Tuesday was rather normal activity, according to James Cook University's Professor Jon Nott.

A 4 magnitude quake was recorded about 30 kilometres off the coast from Innisfail, just after 4pm on Tuesday.

There were reports of the quake being felt in Cairns.

Professor Nott told Kier Shorey on ABC Far North that quakes occurred across the Australian continent often.

"We're unlikely to experience a 9 magnitude quake which hit Japan last week," Professor Nott said. "The biggest earthquakes tend to occur on plate boundaries but within plates, such as the whole of Australia, we do find that we get plenty of earthquakes."

Prof Nott said it was unlikely the north Queensland quake was linked to the Japanese event, but researchers were continuing to investigate possible links between the tremors.

"Often these earthquakes are so far apart that it is hard to find a causal mechanism that will link the two together," Nott said. "Seismologists are always trying to look for these sorts of things but so far they haven't been able to pin down the mechanism that might be causing this."

In 1989, a 5.6 quake hit Newcastle and killed 13 people.

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