Meteor sparks tsunami panic in Queensland

Tracey Ferrier

Reports of a meteor falling on a far north Queensland beach have forced police to reassure locals they were never at risk from a tsunami.

Police were inundated with panicked calls from people in Cairns and nearby Yarrabah on Monday night, expressing concern that a meteor may have fallen to earth and sparked a tsunami.

Local officers had to call the police media unit and ask them to issue social media posts saying there was no threat.

"Residents around Yarrabah and #Cairns area there is no tsunami threat in place," police posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Reports of a meteor falling, similar to those seen in this file picture, in Queensland, have triggered fears of a tsunami. Photo: AP

Some Facebook users seemed baffled by the message, with others explaining that a meteor shower in the far north was behind the post.

Russell Garrard joked that fears of a tsunami might have been linked to "some podgy short daddy's boy getting into the nuclear weaponry again" - a reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent nuclear tests.

Police said that there was no tsunami threat.

The Bureau of Meteorology also received calls overnight, but it's unaware of a meteor actually hitting the ground.

"It sounds like someone has seen a meteor and reported it and had some concerns about tsunamis, which seems a bit strange to me unless it was a large lump of rock," forecaster Gordon Banks said.

"The vast majority of meteors that are seen are little bits of dirt."