Homes rattle as earthquake wakes Western Australians

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck Western Australia’s south overnight, waking residents and shaking buildings.

People from across Perth and south to Albany reported feeling their homes shake just after 5am local time.

The epicentre was in the Lake Muir area between Manjimup and Walpole, with the quake hitting at a depth of 7km.

A series of earthquakes rocked Western Australia overnight, with Lake Muir reporting a magnitude 5.4 tremor, as well as a 3.8 and 3.6. Source: Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Cockburn resident Skye Cooper told 7 News she felt her apartment shaking.

Over in Eaton, Susie Walton said her bed shook for about 20 seconds.

The mother noticed “weird noises and a glass of water moving”, and said the tremor also woke her partner and son.

Perth tennis player Matt Ebden compared the tremor to a “California style earthquake,” in a tweet this morning, saying it shook his whole house.

Geoscience Australia confirmed the 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck at Lake Muir, near Walpole, at 5.06am Friday local time.

The tremor follows a series of nine smaller rumbles from the region overnight – the largest of which was a magnitude 3.6.

In Kojonup, the quake damaged at least one house, shattering walls and wrecking a fence.

Western Australia’s tsunami risk

The quake came days after new data revealed the northwest coast of Western Australia’s proximity to Indonesia’s active earthquake zone puts it at a greater tsunami risk than the rest of the country. 

However the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed there is no tsunami threat as a result of this morning’s earthquake.

The latest tsunami hazard modelling created by Geoscience Australia updates data from a decade ago, and will be used in disaster risk management, evacuation plans and infrastructure planning.

Although the possibility of a tsunami hitting the WA coast remains low, there have been more than 50 recorded tsunami incidents in Australia since European settlement with the largest impacts in that region, Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said in a statement on Monday.