Earthquake jolts SA town

A 3.6-magnitude earthquake was felt in the state’s mid-north last night, the latest in a series of tremors around the Flinders Ranges.

Jan 16, 2024, updated Jan 16, 2024
The location of today's earthquake in Jamestown. Image: Geoscience Australia

The location of today's earthquake in Jamestown. Image: Geoscience Australia

The earthquake occurred just after 10.33pm on Monday, with the epicentre around 11km northeast of Jamestown.

An aftershock occurred half an hour later only 3km east of the town.

According to Geoscience Australia, 127 people reported that they felt the initial earthquake, including three people in metropolitan Adelaide.

Around 50 people around Jamestown also reported feeling the aftershock.

Geoscience Australia senior scientist Phil Cummins said the earthquake was “relatively shallow” within 10km of the earth’s crust.

“You would feel probably strong and sharp shifts… in the immediate vicinity of the earthquake,” Cummins said.

“It did occur very close to Jamestown.

Earthquake South Australia

The location of the earthquake and the aftershock near Jamestown. Image: Geoscience Australia

“It would be… moderate shaking. That’s certainly what it’s classified as, that’s certainly what people reported.

“But it’s not big enough to cause any damage, or it’d be very unlikely to cause any damage.

“If there were any really weak structures, it might possibility cause some kind of superficial damage.

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“But we haven’t referred any reports of damage.”

Cummins said there have been 50 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher recorded within 50km of Jamestown over the last 150 years.

“That area (the Flinders Ranges) does have sort of elevated seismic activity – it’s generally higher than most other parts of Australia,” Cummins said.

“And that’s due to the Flinders Ranges is thought to be uplifting. There’s geologic evidence that there is very slow but active uplift, and that’s sufficient with these earthquakes.”

In March 2023, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded just south of Yunta in the Flinders Ranges, around 275km north of Adelaide.

The 2023 earthquake was the largest recorded in Adelaide since 2013 when a 5.4 magnitude tremor shook Ernabella in the APY Lands.

The most powerful earthquake recorded in South Australian history was a magnitude 6.5 tremor near Beachport and Robe in 1897.

The 1954 Adelaide earthquake, which injured 16 people, was 5.5 on the Richter Scale.

Topics: earthquake
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