An online spoof of the Victorian earthquake.
An online spoof of the Victorian earthquake.

Should we quake with fear?

WE MAY not be sitting on a faultline, but we're not immune from earthquakes in Ipswich.

While the south-east has never been struck by a quake of similar size to the Victorian earthquake for more than 20 years, the south-east corner of Queensland has experienced dozens of low-range earthquakes.

Geosciences Australia spokesman Jonathon Brasco said while mid-range quakes were an uncommon occurrence in the south-east, they did happen.

"Queensland gets a number of earthquakes every year," he said.

"Oftentimes they're quite small though."

Mr Brasco said magnitude 4 quakes had occurred near Ipswich, Brisbane and Toowoomba.

"In 1960 there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake near Brisbane. The most recent one in south-east Queensland was a magnitude 4 that occurred near Toowoomba in 1988."

According to Geosciences Australia, a magnitude 4 earthquake would be felt up to 80km away from its epicentre.

In comparison, the Victorian quake earlier this week was 5.4 and felt more than 300km away.

Australia is safe from the largest and most dangerous earthquakes which occur on the edges of tectonic plates in places such as Los Angeles and Tokyo.

"Sitting in the middle of a tectonic plate means the mechanism of an earthquake is quite different from overall tectonics," Mr Brasco said.

"There are small points of weaknesses and local fault lines that run throughout the plates.

"The stress of plate movement builds up along these lines, causing the earthquakes."

The last significant quake in Queensland was 5.2 on the Richter scale and took place last year between Ayr and Bowen.



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