Magnitude 6.6 natural disaster off Western Australia coast stuns residents

Nellie Chapman
July 14, 2019

It is the largest Earthquake ever felt in WA with the Meckering Earthquake of 1968 measuring a magnitude of 6.5.

The epicentre of the quake was located in the Indian Ocean, about 209 kilometres southwest of Broome, or 1,294 kilometres southwest of Darwin.

Derby resident Jody Gaunt was having a beer with friends when they felt the quake.

There were also casualties nor damage to buildings. One person said on Facebook the intensive care ward at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital shook for a full minute, local paper The West Australian wrote. There is no threat of a tsunami, the Australian Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

The natural disaster was also felt strongly on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome.

The quake hit 203 km (126 miles) west of Broome at a depth of 33 km (21 miles), the USGS said.

Mr Connolly said more aftershocks were expected to flow and that was "absolutely normal" but he could not predict where, when and what size they would be.

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Jody Gaunt, a resident of the town of Derby, told the Australian Associated Press that she was sitting outside when Sunday's quake hit.

"We were sitting outside and our chairs were rocking", she told AAP.

'The trees stopped moving and the breeze stopped blowing.

"We were thinking, 'Is this real or not real?' We've never had an natural disaster up here, or a tremor".

"This is the first time I've experienced anything like that.it's a bit frightening when the ground around you is moving and you can actually feel yourself and everything around you moving with the Earth". Someone else, who was staying at a caravan park in Broome, said the natural disaster "freaked" them out and "everyone ran outside". A few things fell off the walls onto the floors.

'It just went for a few seconds'.

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