Very shallow M5.7 earthquake registered near the coast of Queensland, Australia – state’s largest in almost 100 years

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Geoscience Australia has recorded three moderately strong earthquakes near the coast of Queensland, Australia since July 29, 2015. 

The first one, M5.3, hit at 23:41 UTC on July 29 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). 

M5.7 at a depth of 0 km, Queensland's largest quake in almost 100 years, hit the same region at 03:38 UTC on August 1 and was followed by M5.1 at a depth of 0 km at 04:46 UTC. 

USGS registered them as M5.7, M5.6 and M5.2 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

Image credit: USGS.

According to the USGS, epicenters were located about 133 km (83 miles) ENE of Rainbow Beach, 142 km (88 miles) E of Torquay, 159 km (99 miles) NE of Noosa Heads, 160 km (99 miles) E of Maryborough, and 264 km (164 miles) NNE of Brisbane, Australia.

USGS issued green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though some vulnerable structures exist.

Experts compared the quakes to the most damaging in Australian history. 

'This is equivalent to the earthquake that occurred in 1989 in Newcastle, which is the most damaging earthquake in Australia's history,' Senior seismologist at Geoscience Australia, Dan Jaksa, told the ABC. 

It is estimated that the impact could have been felt by people up to 340 km (211 miles) away. 

Jaksa explained today's quakes were most likely caused by a M5.3 earthquake from July 29. 'This is the event that seems to have triggered another part of the fault to release its stress and it's certainly done that,' he told the ABC.

Featured image credit: USGS.

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