Quake zone settles down

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Lake Muir was a hive of earthquake activity in 2018. Each dot represents one tremor.
Camera IconLake Muir was a hive of earthquake activity in 2018. Each dot represents one tremor. Credit: Geoscience Australia

Official figures show earthquake sensors picked up 780 tremors near Lake Muir in the past 12 months — an average of more than two a day.

Those earthquakes, clustered around Lake Muir about 120km north-west of Albany, ranged from magnitude 0.1 to a building-rattling magnitude 5.7.

It is understood to be a record for the area.

However, things appear to be dying down in the usually quiet Lake Muir region.

Despite the Great Southern being hit by earthquake mania in 2018, no tremors have been recorded around Lake Muir since Saturday.

The slowing of activity could suggest an end to regular tremors in the region, which was thrown into the national spotlight at the end of last year after two major earthquakes.

Those earthquakes, in September and November, were felt across the South West.

The first, a magnitude 5.7 beast, was on September 16 and was WA’s biggest in 20 years.

Then, only weeks later around dawn on November 9, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake hit the same area.

Despite Albany Advertiser reader speculation ranging from claims of shifting underground fault lines to premonitions of a doomsday event, qualified experts have not been able to pinpoint the cause of the sudden underground activity.

Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Phil Cummins said earthquakes of those magnitudes were rare in Australia.

“You might get a 5.6 every few years throughout Australia,” he said in September.

“It’s difficult to say if it’s random statistical clustering or if there is something else going on.”

No major property damage was reported.

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