KI earthquake biggest in 50 years

Residents from Kingscote to Hanson Bay and Parndana to Penneshaw reported feeling the earth move when an earthquake struck near Kangaroo Island last Wednesday night.

The 3.5 magnitude quake erupted underwater to the north of the island at 8.27pm.

It caused a stir on The Islander’s Facebook page.

“Yes at Nepean Bay – felt it, heard it,” wrote Sharon Zealand.

“Hope no one was in the middle of playing Jenga,” quipped Steve Berzel.

Lucy Morgan, from Karatta, thought it was her washing machine at first.

Jasmin Florance, of Wisanger, said the quake shook her house and opened several new cracks in the masonry.

Others said they heard it more than felt it.

Seismologist David Love, said the earthquake was about 15km offshore, about 34km north-west of Kingscote.

“Small earthquakes are known to occasionally occur west of Cape Jervis, and through Investigator Strait, with about half a dozen being recorded each year,” Mr Love said.

“Last night’s earthquake is probably the largest since a magnitude 4.6 was recorded near Kingscote in 1962.

“Small earthquakes are more noticeable at night, and this one may have been felt by people up to 60km away,” Mr Love said

The Islander reported in April, 1988, that seismic equipment was brought to the island.

The report said a “large earthquake” occurred at Cape Du Coudiec in 1986, which was felt up to 300km away.

It also reported an earthquake in 1948 near Kingscote and a 6.2 magnitude earthquake off Yorke Peninsula in 1902 which “shook the island and probably brought down a few chimneys”.

If you felt last week’s earthquake, you can report it at www.ga.gov.au/earthquakes . 

 “It is important for people to respond immediately and not be confused about what to do.”

Ms Carr said if shaking started, the best advice was to drop, cover and hold.

“That is, drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, and hold on to the leg of the furniture,” she said.

“Alternatively, you can take shelter on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, fireplaces, bookcases or other heavy and potentially unstable furniture items.”

If people were outside, it was important that they moved away from buildings and other structures such as service poles and bridges, stopped driving and stayed in their vehicles.

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