A Geoscience Australia expert says he cannot discount the possibility that a series of earth tremors felt on the NSW Mid North Coast in recent days is the lead-up to a larger earthquake.
Seismologist Phil Commons said 36 small quakes had been recorded between South West Rocks and Macksville since Friday.
The Geoscience Australia website recorded a magnitude 3.1 quake at Bellingen this morning.
Mr Commons said the earthquake ‘swarm’ was a response to stress that slowly built up in the Earth’s crust due to forces exerted at the plates.
“It’s difficult to say what will happen in the future,” Mr Commons said.
“There is a pattern, a well-known pattern, of foreshocks — small earthquakes can build up to bigger ones.
“We don’t really see that happening here. It’s just a swarm where we will get dozens, possibly hundreds of them and they’ll just eventually die out.”
Residents phone in reports of tremors
Callers to the ABC Fiona Poole’s Breakfast Program have reported feeling the unusual activity.
Penny from Congarinni North just near Macksville said she felt a bit of a bang at about 6:20am today.
“A big boom and then a boom which we thought was above the house and then windows were gently rattling,” she said.
“It was very weird and it gave us goosebumps.
“We heard the ones yesterday, so this morning when it boomed above the house we knew what it was straight away.
“I haven’t felt any of them but heard them. I thought a possum was landing on the roof.”
South West Rocks and Macksville reports
Margaret in South West Rocks said she had felt three tremors.
“I’ve been watching a lot of tennis and sitting in the chair and it just came like a push from behind.”
Eric in Macksville said he first felt a tremor on Friday.
“We had a small tremor about 4:30pm. I was out doing some pruning and I thought it was someone doing some blasting near the bridge they’re building.
“On the 20th at 9:00pm I was watching the ABC News 24 and I thought it was a roll of thunder.
“Then on Sunday at 4:00am that one shook the house a little bit.
“At 9:00pm on January 22 there was a definite louder roll, a lot longer but it didn’t shake anything.
“Then at 7.45am this morning there was the loudest bang. It was a real bang followed by a rumble for about five seconds.”
Scotts Head resident reports rumbles
There were also reports from Scotts Head, about 90 kilometre south-east of Dorrigo and 50 kilometres north of South West Rocks.
Local resident Moira said she was glad to have the mystery cleared up.
“There were about 10 little rumbles on Saturday and a big one early on Sunday morning,” she said.
“We thought it was thunder at first and we went and had a look and no, there’s no clouds or thunderstorm.
“Some people said their houses shook a bit. We didn’t feel it at our place but it was rumbling like thunder.”
From The ABC – 24-1-18 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-24/nsw-mid-north-coast-feel-dozens-of-earth-tremors-felt-/9355280