The earth moved but nobody seemed to notice

IT APPEARS to have gone largely unnoticed, but another small earthquake struck the Tamworth area in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. 

The 2.1 ’quake was half the size of the one that shook the North West on June 8, 2012, but was located in the same spot, near Lake Keepit.

Seismologist Michael Phillips, from Coonabarabran, said Tuesday’s quake was at a depth of about 7km and exactly 18km south-east of Keepit and 18km west of Peel High School, which interestingly played a part in determining its epicentre.

Since May last year, Peel High has been home to a seismometer as part of the Australian Seismometers in Schools Network, with the device capable of recording earthquakes as far away as Japan. Mr Phillips said the data from the school’s seismometer was used by the Australian Seismological Centre in Canberra to help pinpoint the epicentre.

It follows another 2.3 magnitude ’quake in much the same area in September last year. 

“It’s not unusual for quakes to recur in the same area for a while,” Mr Phillips said. 

“My guess is that for a small shallow quake like this, that is 7km down, it could have been felt by residents in the immediate area of the epicentre, but would have been of short duration, lasting only a few seconds, and could easily have been dismissed as passing traffic. 

“Also occurring at 2.13am meant that it’s less likely to have been noticed, by humans at least.”

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