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Mini quake shakes ACT


Hamish Boland-Rudder

Seismograph reading from Canberra quake

Seismograph reading from Canberra quake Photo: from Geoscience Australia website

Some Canberrans have been shaken awake a little early this morning by an earth tremor west of the capital.

And while it is unlikely they will be woken again by similar earth tremors, there will almost certainly be aftershocks, seismology professors say.

But professor Brian Kennett, who has been studying and mapping earthquakes in the ACT since 1984, said only those standing directly above the aftershocks would be likely to feel them.

Where the quake was felt this morning:

View Mini quake shakes Canberra in a larger map

Read the experts' view

This morning's magnitude 3.7 tremor originated about 40km west of the ACT, halfway between Canberra and Tumut, at 5.09am and could be felt by people up to 46km away, Geoscience Australia has reported.

Did you feel the earth tremble this morning? Get in touch by email, or leave a comment.

Geoscience Australia duty seismologist Steve Tatham said the agency has received over 100 reports from people across the region who felt the quake.

"People are reporting shaking, earth noises, windows rattling, describing it like a heavy vehicle rumbling past," he said.

"One fellow from Canberra even reported items shaking off his bedside table."

"[It's] a very exciting event, but certainly nothing to be worried about at this magnitude."

Mr Tatham said there have been four earthquakes in the region over the past decade or so, with the largest tremor measuring 4.2 magnitude in February 1998. While the region has a moderate seismicity, Mr Tatham said most tremors usually occur further north, around Gundaroo.

He said while small aftershocks were possible, they aren't normally observed for such small tremors.

Emergency services said this morning that call centres had received a few calls, but no damage has been reported.

Readers contacting The Canberra Times have reported feeling the quake across the region, as far as Yass in the north, Batlow in the west, Clyde Mountain in the east, and Gordon in the south.

Richard from Gungahlin said he was watching the sunrise from the top of Mount Ainslie with friends when he felt the earth begin moving.

"We felt the trembling of the ledge looking over the edge," he said in an email to The Canberra Times.

"It was a slow vibration but you could definitely feel the ledge shaking. We had no idea what it was and joked about it being an earthquake only to come back home to find out it was one! Quite a surprise."

Robert from Dunlop said he was lying in bed dozing when he felt the tremors.

"It felt like I was lying in the ocean and went over a wave. Very bazar [sic]," Robert emailed in this morning.

"I have felt earth quakes before (very loud one that shook the windows and doors of our house to the point that I thought they were going to fall off or shatter), but this one just felt like I was floating in the sea!"

110 comments so far

  • The windows of my old house rattled for about 15 seconds and woke me up just after 5 this morning, but I'm way over in Queanbeyan.

    Date and time
    April 20, 2012, 6:40AM
    • That was not an earthquake. That was the sound of Tony Abbott's brain blowing after counting to 10.

      Date and time
      April 20, 2012, 1:10PM
    • I am amazed that someone has not yet blamed CSG mining for it yet. It seems to be the cause of all manner of other evil at the moment.

      Date and time
      April 20, 2012, 1:42PM
    • Fraking.

      Same kind of thing is happening in the USA from it.

      Date and time
      April 20, 2012, 2:30PM
  • i woke with a jolt, the bed was rocking, i could hear the rushing noise like a train or huge gust of wind, havent slept since, reminded me way too much of the newcastle earthquake, it probably only lasted about 10-15 seconds

    Date and time
    April 20, 2012, 6:53AM
    • I most certainly felt the earthquake at Isaacs, Canberra. It was around 5.15am in the morning when I was woken to the sound of a low lying DC10 and then the house rattled and shook. I initially thought it was an earthquake and woke up this morning to reading this newspaper. It lasted 5 seconds, maybe 10 seconds, but it sounded like a low-lying plane - but a big one and then the rattle. Wow! An earthquake in Canberra.

      Isaacs, Canberra
      Date and time
      April 20, 2012, 6:57AM
      • I woke during the night to a loud noise and the whole house shuddering. I thought a truck had hit the house.Having no idea what had happened, I went back to sleep thinking I had had a dream. This morning when I listened to the news I found that it was in fact an earthquake I had experienced.

        Kathy Johnston
        Date and time
        April 20, 2012, 6:59AM
        • We are out in Carwoola, 12kms from Queanbeyan and felt the quake at 5:10am this morning, we were woken to everything shaking, was a little scarey!!!

          Date and time
          April 20, 2012, 7:00AM
          • Sounded like a ten pin bowling alley and then some loose change rattled on the dresser.

            Date and time
            April 20, 2012, 7:01AM
            • I was chilling in my office just after 0500 when this low frequeny roaring started and my chair and the whole office vibrated for about 10-20 seconds so I jumped on FB to see if anyone else felt it too.

              Date and time
              April 20, 2012, 7:05AM

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