Earthquake swarm in progress along the coast of NSW, Australia

earthquake-swarm-in-progress-along-the-coast-of-nsw-australia

A seismic swarm is in progress along the coast of northern New South Wales, Australia since Friday, January 19, 2018, raising fears that a bigger earthquake might hit the region. Authorities say that while they can't rule out a bigger one, they don't see it likely.

From 22:50 UTC on January 19 to 08:08 UTC on January 24, Geoscience Australia registered a total of 21 earthquakes along the coast of NSW, between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, with magnitudes ranging from 1.8 to 4.2 and depths up to 10 km (6.2 miles).

The strongest so far was M4.2 at a depth of 10 km with epicenter located just off the coast of Nambucca Heads. The quake hit at 02:28 UTC on January 24 (13:28 local time). There are no reports of injuries and no threat of a tsunami. Locals reported minor damage (cracked walls) and said the shaking lasted between 10 and 15 seconds.

"It's not unusual to get a swarm of earthquakes when stresses exceed the strength of the rock," Geoscience Australia said, adding that they continue to receive felt reports from Scott's Heads (south of M4.2 earthquake). These, however, are too small and cannot be located accurately by our instruments, the agency added.

Geoscience Australia seismologist High Glanville said earthquakes in this region are rare. "It's pretty unusual… we haven't had a swarm in that area for a long time.

Glanville said there is always a possibility of a bigger earthquake. "We never rule out the chance of a bigger earthquake," he said. 

NSW earthquakes January 19 - 24, 2018

Earthquakes registered by Geoscience Australia between January 19 and 24, 2018. Credit: TW/SAM, Google

Seismologist Phil Commons told ABC that it's difficult to say what will happen in the future.

"There is a pattern, a well-known pattern, of foreshocks – small earthquakes can build up to bigger ones, but we don't really see that happening here," Commons said. "It's just a swarm where we will get dozens, possibly hundreds of them and they'll just eventually die out."

On average, New South Wales sees between 100 and 200 small earthquakes each year.

Featured image: Earthquakes registered along the coast of New South Wales, Australia (January 19 – 24, 2018). Credit: TW/SAM, Google. Data provided by Geoscience Australia

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *