In Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday 28th May at 11:41pm residents were awakened by an earth tremor of magnitude 3.8, that seemed to last close to a minute. It was quite unmistakable, initially sounding like a truck crash on the road and continuing in intensity with noise like rumbling thunder before fading off.
Not only have we seen unusual climatic shifts and weather pattern here in Melbourne, but now we’re seeing seismic activity, which is a fairly rare occurrence in the last few decades.
The last earthquake experienced wasn’t too long ago though, affecting south-east Australia with a magnitude of 5.9, making it the largest onshore earthquake in Victoria’s recorded history.
What causes these earthquakes? Australia sits on a continental plate that’s moving north at about 7cm a year, and as it does this compressive stress forces are built up within the plate, which are eventually released causing an earthquake, like the one we just experienced, and usually along pre-existing fault lines in the earth.
I’ve included some detail below found on a government website that monitors seismic activity.
This one originated 3km below the ground from the details below.
Here’s the Intensity Shake Map from Australian Government – Geoscience Australia – https://earthquakes.ga.gov.au/
The map shows how far the seismic activity was felt, its rating was light to moderate, with a moderate rating at the epicenter, which equates with a light damage level.