Be prepared for more earthquakes

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More than 700 earthquakes have been recorded near Lake Muir this year.
Camera IconMore than 700 earthquakes have been recorded near Lake Muir this year. Credit: Geoscience Australia

The Great Southern should be prepared for more ground-shaking earthquakes in coming months, an expert has warned.

Geoscience Australia seismologist Trevor Allen said while it was virtually impossible to predict earthquakes, this year’s underground activity near Lake Muir meant it was likely there would be more big tremors coming.

More than 700 small earthquakes measuring between magnitude 0.1 and 3 have been detected around Lake Muir this year — which is unusual for the region.

“Now that we have seen earthquakes of this medium-to-large magnitude, the potential for having further earthquakes of a similar magnitude is probably higher,” Mr Allen said.

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“There is a chance we could see earthquakes of similar magnitude (from Lake Muir) in the coming months.”

In response to stories of water springs appearing in the region after earthquakes, Mr Allen said the phenomenon was “not common, but certainly not abnormal”.

Earthquakes could redirect underground water channels, in this case sending water bubbling to the surface, he said.

“It’s certainly something we don’t see every day from earthquakes, but there has been documented evidence of this sort of behaviour occurring,” he said.

Mr Allen visited Frankland last week for a first-of-its-kind Great Southern earthquake seminar at which he revealed new machinery installed by Geoscience Australia was giving experts unique insight into the Lake Muir earthquakes.

About 70 people attended the seminar, along with emergency services, local government and charity representatives.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services district officer Leon Gardiner, who also spoke, said it was a good opportunity to hear community concerns.

“I think all the feedback we heard from the community was positive — they’ve got a bit of an understanding now around what’s actually been going on,” he said.

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