Queensland Whitland Islands experienced an earthquake of magnitude 5.8, which weather forecasters said could have been even more severe.
The disaster hit the northern coast of Queensland at around 2:30 pm on Thursday. The event was followed by a series of six aftershocks. This was the fourth earthquake in a week, which was followed by another quake of magnitude off the coast of Bowen the same day at 3:30 pm.
Geoscience Australia claimed that there have been several incidents where the earth was completely shaken in the past 12 months. Senior seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said that the earthquake could have come with a greater influence. He claimed that it could have been worse in effect than the 1989 Newcastle disaster that claimed the lives of 13 people and injured 150. If the epicenter of the quake had been on land, it would have been heinous in its impact.
Bathgate said that the earthquake on Thursday hit the state with a greater magnitude than the 1989 incident. “It was bigger than the Newcastle earthquake so in comparison to that, it certainly had the potential to do some significant damage,” he told AAP. “We had an earthquake in Northern Territory earlier which was 6.1, and that was the largest earthquake in 20 years and it has certainly been an active 12 months for earthquakes in Australia,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Center released a statement confirming that based on the analysis of the magnitude and location of the Queensland earthquake, there was no tsunami threat associated with the Australian mainland or islands.
Prior to this, an earthquake of magnitude 4.4 hit Bundaberg, which was 800 kilometers from the south of Bowen, Brisbane Times reported. Bowen Club employee Margaret Need described the quake incident. She explained how everyone wondered when they saw the two-storey timber clubhouse shaking.
According to Stuff New Zealand, Bowen’s division’s councilor Mike Bruckner claimed that he was confident that there had been no damage done to infrastructure in the event.