Huge earthquake hits off Australian coast

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·1-min read

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has struck just south of Tasmania.

The earthquake was detected west of Macquarie Island, which is south of both Tasmania and New Zealand, on Friday about 2.20pm local time, according to the US Geological Survey.

An earthquake has been detected off Macquarie Island.
An earthquake has been detected off Macquarie Island on Friday afternoon. Source: USGS

It had a depth of 10km, USGS said.

The island experienced a 5.6 magnitude earthquake last Friday, according to Geoscience Australia.

Macquarie Island is part of the Australian Antarctic Program and has no known residents.

It was declared a World Heritage property in 1997 “and experiences frequent earth tremors”, according to the Australian Antarctic Program’s website.

Captain Douglass of the ship the Mariner in 1822 famously called the island “wretched”.

“Nothing could warrant any civilised creature living on such a spot,” he said.

Royal penguins in Sandy Bay at the Sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, Tasmania, Australia.
Royal penguins at Sandy Bay on Macquarie Island. Source: AAP

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