Magnitude 5.2 earthquake hits Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has hit the Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The earthquake, which struck at 08:17 am AWST (00:17 UTC), is the strongest to hit the region of Goldfields-Esperance in 50 years. Goldfields is considered one of the more geologically stable regions of Australia, in comparison to the southwest corner of the state, which is an active zone at the edge of the Yilgarn block.

Kalgoorlie is located 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of the Western Australian capital Perth and is historically the largest gold producing centre of its type in Australia. Kalgoorlie is also the largest urban centre in Goldfields, and has the largest number of buildings that would be vulnerable to such an earthquake.

Minor casualties and building damage have been reported, and miners and schoolchildren have been evacuated.