No damage reported from Forster offshore earthquake

Shock: Geoscience Australia says the earthquake hit at the coordinates of -32.278, 153.238 and at a depth of 10km. Photo: Geoscience Australia.
Shock: Geoscience Australia says the earthquake hit at the coordinates of -32.278, 153.238 and at a depth of 10km. Photo: Geoscience Australia.

DID you feel it? This question lit up social media on Wednesday evening following an offshore earthquake near Forster which caused a tremor through the Manning-Great Lakes area.

Geoscience Australia reported at 6.55pm (AEST) on Wednesday, April 19 an earthquake at a magnitude of 3.3 (later changed to 3.2) occurred at a depth of 10km. 

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 this earthquake, saying there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland islands from the earthquake.

Mr Lawrence said tsunamis are a possibility on the East Coast of Australia and it’s a good reminder to be across warnings that come from the JATWC website. 

Geoscience Australia seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos told the ABC there was the possibility of more tremors in the Forster-area. He said aftershocks are difficult to predict and are normally much smaller than the original shock.

It was estimated the earthquake could be felt by up to 28km to 31km away. However, residents from as far as Old Bar, Upper Lansdowne and Harrington reported movement to the north, and Smiths Lakes, Seal Rocks and Green Point to the south. 

There were differing accounts of the impact of the tremor for residents. 

In Diamond Beach, Anna-Maria McKenzie said she, “thought a large semi-trailer must have gone past!” 

In Forster, 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,” said Stella Savvas of Mitchells Island. 

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