Offshore earthquake at Forster causes tremor

For the second time in less than a week the State has been ‘rocked’ by an earthquake, this time just off Forster Tuncurry’s coastline.

On Thursday, April 19 at approximately 6.55pm a magnitude 3.3 quake struck about 60 kilometres from the coastline at a depth of approximately 10km.

There were no reports of damage or injuries.

However, more than 200 reports from Seal Rocks to Harrington were posted on the Geoscience Australia Facebook page, while on the Great Lakes Advocate Facebook page residents from as far as Old Bar, Upper Lansdowne and Harrington in the north and south to Smiths Lakes, Seal Rocks and Greenpoint reported movement.

Geoscience Australia duty seismologist, Eddie Leask said that particular time of the evening was ideal for feeling the effects of the tremor.

People were either sitting down to dinner or watching the news on TV, Mr Leask said.

He said earthquakes in the area were not that common, but at the same time not uncommon.

“We have only had about nine recorded events since 1970.”

The last was a 3.8 magnitude quake at a similar location in 2009.

Mr Leask said he did not expect a tremor of Wednesday night’s size would cause any serious damage, and it was unlikely to result in a tsunami threat.

SES community engagement officer Stephen Lawrence said no calls were received relating to damage or assistance following the tremor.

At 7.36pm, the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) issued a statement, based on the magnitude and location of the earthquake, saying there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland islands from the earthquake.

Mr Lawrence said tsunamis were a possibility on the East Coast and it was  a good reminder to be across warnings that came from the JATWC website. 

Facebook posts ranged from disbelief to reports of pets becoming unsettled just before the tremor.

Diamond Beach resident, Anna-Maria McKenzie said she thought a large semi-trailer must have gone past, while Forster’s  Denise Anderson said she felt the whole house shake and assumed it was her neighbour’s music. 

Also in Forster, Samm Van De Lindt said: “We were sitting at the dinner table, and we heard the windows and cutlery chest rattle and felt it too. Was quite a shake.” 

Further north residents reported their dogs were unsettled before the tremor hit.

“We felt it too,” Stella Savvas of Mitchells Island said.

“My dogs jumped up; the little one sat next to me trembling.” 

Jill Connor, who was in the shower at the time, said she didn’t feel the tremor, but thought the noise was her grandchildren running through the house.

We felt the house shake and we are out at Bungwahl, Jay Devine said.

Early on Good Friday, a magnitude 4.3 earthquake caused a gold mine to be evacuated near Orange in the State's Central West.


Location Offshore Forster, NSW. 

Coordinates: -32.199, 153.382 

Depth: 26 km 

Magnitude: 3.3