An earth-shuddering week on the coast
THE Coffs Coast is renowned as the place where the mountains meet the sea, given the close proximity of the Great Dividing Range to the Pacific Ocean, but it was the faultlines underneath the region that made national headlines this week.
A swarm of minor earthquakes, some 26 in seven days, were recorded by Geoscience Australia between Dorrigo and Scotts Head, with the largest quake a 4.2 magnitude earthquake happening off the coast of Nambucca Heads on Wednesday at 1.28pm.
Geoscience Australia said the minor earthquake, recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres, was the strongest magnitude earthquake recorded in Australia during the past six months, since a magnitude 5 in Western Australia last August and a magnitude 4 in the Northern Territory last April.
Taking to Twitter after the seismic event off Nambucca Heads, emergency services confirmed there was no threat of a tsunami off the Mid North Coast.
"An earthquake of that size is too small to generate a tsunami, it is a nil threat unless an earthquake at or greater than 6.5 magnitude is recorded,” Geoscience Australia seismologist Hugh Glanville said.
"We have been monitoring for aftershocks and we are unsure if this is the end of this sequence of activity,” he said.
Earlier in the week, he confirmed the swarm of earthquakes in the region was a rare occurence.
"It's pretty unusual,” he said.
"We haven't had a swarm (of earthquakes) in that area for a long time.”
But after the swarm of quakes ranging in magnitude from 2-3 shook up the local area, he could not rule out a larger one.
"There is always the chance of a bigger earthquake,” he said.
Hours later, social media went into overdrive with thousands of residents on reporting they felt the tremors underfoot.
"We live on a third floor of apartments in Park Beach, I was sitting in the lounge chair when it started to rock. I got such a fright, it happened about three time.” - Sheryl Carle
"It felt and sounded like a huge thunder crack that shook the walls. It then dissipated into a roll of lower rumbles. It was huge.” - Kirstin Knight
"Boom, rumble, window rattler and house shaker.” - Di Ebert
"It sounded like a semi-trailer at the front.” - Pam McTear
"Heard a rumble and felt a tremor at Bonville. TV was shaking around 1.29pm.” - John Newth
"Shook my flat for about five seconds, loud rumble too.” - Aaron Tang
"I thought I was imagining things, I did feel about four small tremors in my office at home.” - Jean Nentwig
"Shook the house and rattled the windows and roof in Valla Beach.” - Carmel Searle
Minimal damage was reported across the region, with items falling off shelves and reports of cracks appearing in concrete walls near Wauchope, South West Rocks and Scotts Head, where the larger tremors were felt.