Geoscience Australia

Two Earthquakes Rattled Australia’s East Coast Overnight 

Australia’s east coast has been shaken by earthquakes overnight.

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded 125 kilometres off the coast of Cairns, and a 3.1 magnitude earthquake struck Clarence Valley, southeast of Grafton, in northern New South Wales (NSW).

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The earthquake was initially reported in Cairns at 10:15pm, while Grafton recorded the event several hours later, around 2am.

According to the Earthquake List, it was an “unusually powerful” earthquake that hit underwater in the Coral Sea, 117 kilometres off the coast of Australia.

“No earthquake of this strength has struck this region for a long time,” wrote in the statement.

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“Our data goes back 10 years, and no earthquakes measuring a magnitude of 4.2 or higher have been detected within 300 km (186 mi) of this epicentre.”

The organisation said the centre of this earthquake had a “very shallow depth of 10 kilometres”, and shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact compared to earthquakes deep in the earth.

While residents have reported feeling the ground shaking, there have been no reports of damage or injuries resulting from either event. 

Most tsunamis are triggered by earthquakes that originate directly under or close to the sea. However, there were no tsunami warnings.

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