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Cadoux earthquake: a 4.3 magnitude quake rocks Wheatbelt town in WA

Residents living in the small Wheatbelt town that was rocked by a magnitude 4.3 earthquake on Sunday say they heard a “big crack” or “explosion” seconds after the ground “rumbled” beneath them.

The seismic event, which struck Cadoux around lunchtime, could be felt more than 200kms away with Geoscience Australia – which monitors and reports on earthquake activity – reporting more than 180 people had felt it as far as Perth.

Seismologist Dr Jonathan Bathgate said the quake had a depth of 10km, which he explained was normal for Australia, adding the shallower the quake the more likely they could be felt.

He also revealed it was not the first tremor to strike the area over the past week.

On Tuesday, a 2.2 magnitude quake was recorded five to 10 kilometres away in Manmanning.

Dr Barker said Cadoux had a history of earthquakes recording one of the highest quakes in the country, a magnitude 6.1 in 1979.

He said the town was in an area of high seismic activity and that it was normal for several tremors to be reported each year.

Tremors have reportedly been felt as far away as Perth.
Camera IconTremors have reportedly been felt as far away as Perth. Credit: Geoscience Australia

Cadoux residents Danny and Rielle Shankland were playing with their six-and-a-half-month-old daughter McKenzie on their farm when they said they literally felt the earth move.

“It was pretty quick,” Mr Shankland explained. “We were outside and we heard what sounded like thunder. It was a nice big crack. Like ‘bang, bang’.”

Mrs Shankland explained when the quake struck she grabbed her daughter and ran to a doorway but that it was all over in a matter of seconds.

Local Leon Shaman said he and his wife were in their garden when they felt the ground rumble beneath them, then heard the plates in their kitchen and the glass pool fence begin to rattle before everything began to shake for several seconds.

He said he had felt quakes before but they had never heard their plates rattle before adding it this one was different.

“This one definitely lasted longer. It went for 15 to 20 seconds,” he added.

Skip Scheepers from Cadoux Traders said he thought the quake sounded like a “huge explosion”.

“It was pretty significant,” he said.

“We heard the rumbling but it sort of lingered for a while. The house then began to rattle. I felt quakes here before but they’ve never been this big.”

It wasn’t just those living near the epicentre that felt the earth move.

Residents in Wongan Hills — which is around 50kms away — also reported their windows and homes shaking.

Dawn Hutchinson was at home when she said she felt the windows at her house rattle and was shocked to learn it was an earthquake that caused it.

“I thought it was a big engine or truck going by at first,” she said.

“It was such a horrendous noise. It definitely rattled my French doors.”

Her friend Rae Sumatluck, who was working at the local Visitors Centre, said she too didn’t realise the rattling and noise was an earthquake, believing it to be a train.

She explained the visitor centre is located near the train line and that one passed around five minutes after the quake struck.

“When the train didn’t go past I even joked it must have been an earthquake,” she said.

“It wasn’t until a lady from the café stopped by that we realised it was.”

Bernadette Lambert from the Wongan Hills Caravan Park said she was doing her laundry when she felt the quake but had thought it was a truck speeding through town.

“When the truck didn’t go past I wondered what it was,” she added.

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