Second earthquake shakes Murrumbateman

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A 2.3 Magnitude earthquake was felt in Murrumbateman last night.

Geoscience Australia reports the short, sharp activity lasted a few seconds at 11.24pm.

Several people have reported feeling the effects as a loud boom which woke them up.

Seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said it was difficult to get the exact location of the earthquake when it measured under 3.0 magnitude.

But reports suggested it was particularly close to the Murrumbateman village centre.

“A number of people filed reports on our website to say they had felt the earthquake,” he told Scoop.

“It was very short in duration, which you would expect of this magnitude. There was an associated loud booming sound or a bang, which is often mistaken for passing traffic or some sort of explosion nearby.

“People generally are saying they felt a short sharp jolt that lasted a matter of seconds, and being late in the evening it woke a few people up.”

It is the second earthquake in the Yass Valley area this year.

On February 10, Narrangullen (near Wee Jasper) recorded a 3.2 level earthquake and another aftershock shortly after.

Residents felt its effects with rattling windows, scared animals and large thunderous sounds in Sutton, Gundaroo, Murrumbateman and south Canberra.

Mr Bathgate did not feel the eruptions were linked.

“It’s the same area. But we don’t know the exact location [for this one] because it was very small and that makes them difficult to accurately locate.

“They are a reasonable distance apart so it’s probably not on the same fault.”

He said earthquakes are generally caused in the valley because of tectonic movement of the Australian plate, which moves north at a rate of 7cm each year.

“Basically, because of that motion we get stresses built up within the plate and crustal rocks, and that stress is released along local fault lines.”

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Katharyn Brine

Editor / Publisher

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