WA has been identified as the nation's earthquake capital with the release of a series of new maps pinpointing quake hotspots around the country.

Maps published by government seismologists at Geoscience Australia identify four earthquake "hot zones" across the State - areas scientists believe could be the most dangerous because of seismic activity.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest hotspots is just 10km from the Wheatbelt town of Meckering - the site of the famous 1968 quake which destroyed the town and left hundreds homeless.

But the Geoscience map identifies another two earthquake hot zones further north, one at East Knodut about 200km inland from Jurien Bay and another at Marindo about 50km east of Dalwallinu.

Another major WA earthquake zone is pinpointed in the Gibson Desert, close to the NT border.

The National Earthquake Hazard Map of Australia ranks danger zones according to estimates of ground shaking that might occur in a particular area.

The earthquake hazard maps can be viewed at <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ga.gov.au/">www.ga.gov.au/ </a> darwin-view/hazards.xhtml.

The West Australian

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