Top End residents awoken by magnitude-6.6 earthquake

Two earthquakes in the Banda Sea have been felt in Darwin in less than 12 hours.

Two earthquakes in the Banda Sea have been felt in Darwin in less than 12 hours. Photo: Geoscience Australia

Top End residents were shaken awake Monday morning after a magnitude-6.6 earthquake hit the Banda Sea, more than 600 kilometres away.

The quake struck the Indonesian sea about 5.45am Australian Central Standard time, at a depth of 177 kilometres.

It was the second quake felt in Darwin in less than 12 hours, following a magnitude-5.9 one in the Banda Sea about 6.30pm Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was no risk of a tsunami.

Darwin ‘perfectly placed’ for tremors

Dan Jackson from Geoscience Australia said the city was perfectly placed to feel tremors originating from the Banda Sea.

Just last month residents reported feeling a magnitude-5.3 earthquake from the area.

“The seismic waves that sort of bend as they come up from the depths of the earth up to the surface, they bend perfectly towards Darwin,” Mr Jackson said.

He said the tremors had more to do with the distance below surface than the size of the quake.

“It’s all about the bending, the refracting, the way in which the seismic waves travel through the crust and then the mantle,” he said.

Speaking to ABC Radio, one caller said she felt the earthquake in Katherine, 320 kilometres from Darwin.

“I was in bed, I was just about to get up, I was lying there thinking, and the bed shook lightly, very lightly,” she said.

Many Facebook users also reported feeling the earthquake, only days after Tropical Cyclone Marcus swept through the region.

“My first earthquake and TC Marcus was my first cyclone. Thanks NT,” Georgina Heard wrote.

Paige Gemma Hobbs wrote that she “definitely felt” the quake, adding it was “stronger than yesterday’s”.

“Bit of a doozy. But it could have waited another hour until I was supposed to wake up,” Marianne Harvey said.

The NT was the site of Australia’s largest ever earthquake, which was magnitude 6.6 in Tennant Creek in 1988.

Cyclone recovery continues

Meanwhile, 448 households remained without power after Tropical Cyclone Marcus hit the region nine days ago.

A Power and Water spokesperson said it hoped to have reconnected them all by Thursday.


Topics: Earthquakes
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