The Day Boulder Rocked: 20 April 2010

Newspaper Reports

Residents and buildings Kalgoorlie-Boulder are badly shaken after a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit Kalgoorlie-Boulder this morning, but there have been no reports of serious injury. Geoscience Australia confirmed there was a tremor near Kalgoorlie and they have confirmed it had a magnitude of 5.0, and were felt as far away as Kambalda and Coolgardie. Ambulance officers have taken a man and a woman to hospital with minor injuries. They are both in a stable condition.


Residents are being warned to prepare for aftershocks, but GeoScience Australia's David Jepsen says the worst should be over. "You can never rule out anything, but the general behaviour of earthquakes in Australia is that you would only have smaller aftershocks."


The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) said the quake - the strongest ever recorded in the area - mainly affected Boulder and five or six hotels on Burt Street, including the Roc Hotel and the Golden Eagle, which have been damaged.

The Education Department says Boulder Primary school has extensive damage and several buildings had to be evacuated. O'Connor Primary School and Kalgoorlie Primary School have some damage and are partly closed, with some buildings declared unusable.

The Kalgoorlie School of the Air is closed. The balcony of the Golden Eagle hotel collapsed during the quake. Burt and Lane Streets in Boulder have been closed and FESA is asking people to avoid the area.

Workers from Kalgoorlie's super pit have also been evacuated. FESA and SES volunteers from Kalgoorlie are working in the area and locals are being asked to turn off their electricity, gas and water if possible.

Largest Recorded

David Jepsen, a senior seismologist with Geoscience Australia, told ABC Local Radio the earthquake was felt up to several hundred kilometres from where it struck. "This is the largest earthquake that we've had in the region since we've recorded earthquakes here," he said. "We can't rule out the effects of what the mining has done."

He says there is a high possibility of aftershocks. Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he will be briefed soon on the extent of the damage. The 2010 Kalgoorlie-Boulder earthquake was a Richter magnitude 5.0 that occurred near the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on 20 April 2010 at approximately 8:17 am western standard time.

The earthquake caused major damage to the historic buildings in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Its epicentre was approximately 30 km (20 mi) northeast of Kalgoorlie, at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi). The duration of shaking lasted about 10–15 seconds and was felt up to 1,007 km (626 mi) away. It was also the largest recorded in the Goldfields Region and one of the largest in Australia.

No one was killed but two people were treated at Kalgoorlie Hospital for minor injuries resulting from the earthquake. It resulted in the temporary closure of local gold mines including the KCGM Super Pit.


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