3.2 earthquake felt across the valley

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BREAKING: An earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale has been felt by a number of residents across the Yass Valley this afternoon.

The phones have been going off the hook at Geoscience Australia, with people reporting rattling windows, scared animals, “sonic booms” and head-cracking thunderous echoes up to 28km away from the epicentre at Narrangullen, near Wee Jasper.

The motions were felt in Sutton, Gundaroo, Murrumbateman, Yass and throughout Canberra in suburbs including Dunlop, Latham, Holt, Kambah and Greenway.

While some dismissed the boom as a washing machine malfunction or rumbling thunder, others were concerned for hikers and cavers who may have been adversely affected.

No one has reported any injuries from the event.

“This afternoon at 4.03pm we had an earthquake occurred about 24 km southwest to Yass. Close to Wee Japser. Only 12km to the NE of Wee jasper, and this was closely followed by a little 2.3 magnitude aftershock,” Geoscience Australia seismologist Emma Mathews told Scoop.

She said it  more than 100 people had reported feeling the shock from various places such as Queanbeyan, Wallaroo, but the most dramatic accounts were coming in from Murrumbateman and Yass so far.

“People up in the north, closer to the epicentre around Yass and Murrumbateman, experienced shaking and rattling.

“Other people have described more noises and vibrations like the low rumbling and that sort of thing, but up in Yass the ‘felt reports’ have indicated rattling, one report says they experienced a small thump and then a rumble for about 10 seconds and they also felt a second earthquake as well.

“Up in Murrumbateman they felt a sharp, sudden shake followed by a faint sound.

“So these sort of earth noises resulting from a minor earth quake are fairly typical of what we would expect people to experience.”

She said experts couldn’t predict if we’d feel another before the night was through.


AUDIO: Geoscience Australia duty seismologist Emma Mathews talks about how far the effects were felt this afternoon.


“We can never say never when it comes to earthquakes. We will be undertaking 24/7 monitoring here in the earthquake alert centre at Geoscience Australia, so we will continue to monitor the situation in the area. We can’t predict earthquakes so we will just have to keep and eye on the situation.”

She advised people to follow the “drop, cover and hold” method when feeling the effects of an earth tremor.

“When they first feel the shaking of an earthquake, people should drop to the floor, ideally under a table or a door frame and then hold onto that, and then… wait until the shaking has stopped. If you’re inside, don’t go outside until the shaking has stopped… because of the risk of falling debris coming off the house.

“If people are outside, just stay outside until the shaking has stopped and you might want to drop to the ground… but the important thing is to stay away from the building during the shaking. And then go and find your loved ones after the shaking has stopped, because you don’t know what size the earthquake is going to be when you first experience shaking.

“You might assume it’s only going to be small, but we have had a large earthquake up near Gunning back in 1934. There was a magnitude 5.6 up there, so there is a history of earthquakes in the area.”

She encouraged residents who felt the tremor to visit their website and describe their experiences.

“They can find out details about the actual event, the aftershock and they can also fill in a “felt report”… and help us with our isotope mapping.”


AUDIO: Geoscience Australia duty seismologist Emma Mathews explains what to do in the event of another tremor.


A 3.1 magnitude earthquake near Wee Jasper this afternoon was felt by residents throughout Yass, Murrumbateman, Sutton, Wallaroo and even south Canberra. PHOTO: Geoscience Australia

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake near Wee Jasper this afternoon was felt by residents throughout Yass, Murrumbateman, Sutton, Wallaroo and even south Canberra. PHOTO: Geoscience Australia


Reports of a 3.2 magnitude tremor initially have been verified on the Geoscience Australia website as a 3.1ML earthquake.

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