Australia rattled by largest earthquake in 15 years

Posted on March 24, 2012


People living near the epicentre of Australia’s biggest earthquake in 15 years have reported being shaken, but otherwise escaping unscathed.

The 6.1 earthquake struck near Ernabella, in South Australia’s far north, just before 8.30pm local time (9pm AEDT) yesterday.

Ernabella, an indigenous arts hub, is home to about 500 Aboriginal people, with more living in about six communities in the surrounding region.

The remote area is just south of the border with the Northern Territory, about 317 kilometres south-west of Alice Springs, 230 kilometres south-east of Uluru and 415 kilometres north-west of Coober Pedy.

Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen said people in the communities around the earthquake epicentre had reported strong shaking.

“An event like this, there are a number of Aboriginal communities around there and they have experienced strong shaking,” Dr Jepsen said.

“We’ve heard from them, people have felt strong shaking, but we haven’t heard of any damage yet, but there is that possibility.”

There have been several aftershocks since the earthquake.


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