History

Although most individuals are unaware of Adelaide’s earthquake history, there have been multiple occurrences in the past as shown below:

South Australian earthquakes with a magnitude of >4.2 since 1990.

Although it is evident that earthquakes in Adelaide are quite prominent, there have been three major earthquakes recorded to date, each being over a magnitude of 5:

  • Beachport – 10th May, 1897 – Magnitude of 6.0

This earthquake occurred off the coast of Beachport, although it was felt all the way between Port Augusta and Melbourne. Locations closest to the epicenter of this quake such as Robe, Kingston and Beachport suffered the most damage, however. Buildings and houses developed large cracks, a store was crushed, roofs were destroyed and church windows were shattered. Destruction was even reported in Adelaide, some 317km from Beachport! Reports included feeling low vibrations for roughly a minute, as well as collapsed stables.

  • Warooka – 19th September 1902 – Magnitude 6.5

This is the largest earthquake that Adelaide has encountered to date, as well as the first in Australian earthquake history to unfortunately report casualties. The earthquake occurred at St Vincents Gulf, closest to the town Warooka, and caused destruction to both homes and businesses. Adelaide yet again was not spared, causing chimneys to topple and other damages. The effects were also felt in Adelaide’s suburban areas.

  • Adelaide – 1st March, 1954 – Magnitude 5.5

This earthquake is considered to be the most destructive earthquake financially in Australian history, costing approximately $90,000,000 in insurance claims due to the damage of 3,000 buildings. The location of the epicenter was in Darlington, although it was felt across 600km (which is as far as Echuca in Victoria), causing extreme damage to Adelaide and surrounding suburbs, particularly alongside the Eden-Burnside fault, creating large amounts of structural damage to buildings. The fissures of this earthquake were thought to be 6km long and 4km deep in the Earth.

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