The scene outside the Auswide building after a quake caused an evacuation.
The scene outside the Auswide building after a quake caused an evacuation.

EARTHQUAKE CHECK: What’s Bundy’s seismological situation?

BUNDABERG is no stranger to rumbling earth.

In 1918, there was an earthquake so strong it stopped the Bundaberg Post Office clock and made one local feel as though his veranda was a ship on the open seas.

In 1935, Bundaberg saw a 6.1 magnitude quake, with a 3.5 magnitude quake in 1997.

More recently, in 2015, one of Bundy's most iconic city structures, the Auswide Bank building, was evacuated after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake caused it to shake.

It followed another incident in February of that year where 6000 people in the region lost power because of a 5.1 magnitude rumble.

Local shopkeepers in the area noticed their stock moving about as it happened.

A couple of months later, more shakes were felt when a 4.4 magnitude quake happened off the coast of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.

It struck exactly one year to the day after a quake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Fraser Island.

In October 2016, two quakes hit near Eidsvold.

A year later, more shakes were felt with a magnitude 3.0 quake detected 270km north east of Bundaberg.

In April 2018, a 3.0 magnitude quake was recorded near Gayndah.

Geoscience Australia geophysicist Vic Dent told the NewsMail in 2014 that Bundaberg experienced 10 per cent of Queensland's earthquakes.

Researcher Mike Turnbull previously told the NewsMail that many quakes are happening in the region, with most too small to be felt.

He warned that every 120 years, the region could expect a magnitude 6 quake.

The evident takeaway from all of this is that Bundaberg sometimes gets a little - or a lot - shaky.

So what's the latest on how we're doing?

According to Geoscience Australia, the Bundaberg and North Burnett regions have been free of significant rumbles in the past year.

"Geoscience Australia monitors seismic data from about 100 stations within the Australian National Seismograph Network (ANSN) and in excess of 300 stations worldwide in near real-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," a spokesperson said.

"The nearest station in the Bundaberg/ North Burnett region that is operated by Geoscience Australia is located near Eidsvold, with additional stations located near Gladstone and Rockhampton."

The spokesperson said ANSN data was relayed through various digital satellite and broadband communication systems to Geoscience Australia's central processing facility in Canberra, with most data received within 30 seconds of being recorded at the seismometer.

Bank building evacuated : A spokesman for AusWide Bank talks about the earthquake and how it affected his staff.
Bank building evacuated : A spokesman for AusWide Bank talks about the earthquake and how it affected his staff.

"The data are ingested into the National Earthquake Alerts Centre (NEAC) which uses well established observatory techniques and software to detect, locate and analyse seismic events," the spokesperson said.

"The NEAC endeavours to publish locatable Australian earthquakes above magnitude 2.5 and overseas earthquakes above magnitude 5.0 to GA's NEAC website."

The spokesperson noted the region had recorded its fair share of quakes.

"In the past 10 years, 23 earthquakes of magnitude 2 or larger were recorded within 100km of Bundaberg, with most of these being aftershocks from the 2015 magnitude 5.2 Eidsvold earthquake," they said.

"In 2016, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake was recorded about 150km northeast, offshore from Bundaberg, and in 2015, a cluster of moderate-magnitude earthquakes occurred east of Fraser Island - the largest having a magnitude of 5.4."

The spokesperson said there were no known active faults in the region, but several suspected in the Gladstone region.

"However, these require further investigation to verify their potential to host large-magnitude earthquakes," they said.

"Most of the largest earthquakes felt by Queenslanders in the past 10 years have occurred in offshore regions of the eastern seaboard, with five earthquakes of magnitude 5 and larger occurring off the Queensland coast."