At first I thought it was passing traffic - trucks can sometimes do that and I feel/here it even though I'm about 50m from the main road that runs through my town.
|Manilla, New South Wales, Australia|
But as I turned my attention to the main road, I realised it couldn't be traffic - my WHOLE house was vibrating. The sound was also not quite right for traffic.
After it happened I looked around outside, saw nothing, so dismissed it as an odd event. Then I happened to check Facebook and saw the ABC New England North West page asking if anyone had felt the earthquake.
It was the oddest revelation to realise I'd just experienced my first earthquake tremor.
In a nutshell, the quake struck near Manilla (NSW, near Tamworth) at 9.31pm, measuring 4.2 at 17km deep*. (*Geoscience Australia website)
|The epicenter was just north of Lake Keepit, west of Manilla.|
Apparently there were 2 tremors and people have reported feeling them as far west as Boggabri, Narrabri, Coonabarabran, north to Armidale, south to Tamworth, Gunnedah and here where I live.
I know the area has a rich geological history - we have two ancient super-volcanoes just down the road near Coonabarabran (the Warrumbungles & Garrawilla volcanoes) and a fault line from the Newcastle/Hunter Valley area follows a coal seam up all the way through here. As a teen I can remember a small tremor shaking us near Quirindi in the mid-1980's.
|The black line denotes the radius of where the tremors were felt.|
I'm glad to hear so far that there's been no reports of serious damage anywhere. While earthquakes aren't common here, this one certainly makes you think about the "what ifs..." or "what could have been's..."
And to end on a lighter note, while I was freaked out by the tremors, my cats slept through the whole thing (great natural disaster alarm warning devices they turned out to be!).
You can find out more technical information about the earthquake here. The Daily Telegraph has an article here about the quake.