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Originally posted by ozzieman
reply to post by tauristercus
Hi Tauristercus & Nukepaul, we are neighbours. Oz
[edit on 16/4/10 by ozzieman]
Moderate earthquake rattles Western Australia Goldfields
* Earthquake hits Goldfields region
* Some reports of damaged buildings
* Earthquake large for Australia
* Pictures: Goldfields earthquake
* Google: China earthquake
ABOUT a dozen historic buildings and a school have been damaged by an earthquake in the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in Western Australia's goldfields.
The earthquake hit the Goldfields around 8.20am, closing the Kalgoorlie Super Pit and damaging buildings, PerthNow reported. It measured 5.0 on the Richter scale and is the biggest earthquake to hit the region in half a century, Geoscience Australia says.
The quake occurred one to two kilometres southwest of the Kalgoorlie city centre, but most of the damage was felt in Boulder.
The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) said about a dozen buildings were damaged in Boulder, mainly on Burt, Moran and Piesse streets.
"A balcony has collapsed at the Golden Eagle Hotel on Lionel Street and there has been damage to the Rock Hotel on Burt Street," FESA said in a statement.
"There has been severe structural damage to Boulder Primary School including a ceiling collapse."
Students were moved to a safer part of the school and were collected by their parents, FESA said.
Firefighters were also called to a gas leak in Boulder.
Two people were treated in hospital for minor injuries at the Kalgoorlie Hospital.
A Geoscience Australia spokesman said the quake was the largest to hit the city, a mining centre 600km east of Perth. Previous earthquakes in the region have not exceeded 4.2 on the Richter scale.
"This is quite a large earthquake for Australia and a shallow, potentially damaging, earthquake," he said.
WA Premier Colin Barnett said the quake had caused some structural damage to schools in the region, which were closed for the day for safety checks.
Largest mine shut
Australia's largest mine, in the heart of Kalgoorlie, the Super Pit gold mine operated by the Barrick/Newmont joint venture called Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, has been temporarily shut.
Australian Workers Union (AWU) national secretary Paul Howes said first reports suggested that all AWU members were safe.
"AWU officials report that all our people have, it seems, been safely evacuated," Mr Howes said in a statement.
"We're not sure how long the mines will need to be shut down while damage is assessed.
"Certainly, we know now that at the open cut mine there has been some significant rockfalls, and we expect similar problems in the underground mines.
"The union will want to work co-operatively with the mine companies and the WA government to ensure everything is completely safe before miners are asked to restart operations.
"This incident is a huge reminder of the inherent dangers in our industry."
Aftershocks, smaller than the main earthquake, are expected and could cause more damage to weakened structures, FESA said.
Residents in the city have been told to turn off electricity, gas and power and told not to use matches, cigarette lighters or naked flames because of potential gas leaks.
A number of roads in the town have been closed, and people have been told to beware of fallen powerlines and falling debris.