North Queensland warned to expect aftershocks from earthquake | Courier Mail


The north Queensland earthquake map from Geoscience Australia.

NORTH Queenslanders have been warned to expect aftershocks from Saturday's 5.4 magnitude earthquake for several days.

The quake, the most powerful in the state in more than 70 years, struck about 180km southeast of Townsville, 10km below the surface about 3.30pm.

It was felt as far away as the Whitsundays off the central coast of Queensland and in the state's capital Brisbane.

There were no reports of damage or injury.

GeoScience Australia duty seismologist Hugh Glanville said that 50 or more aftershocks have been recorded since.

"We expect the small tremors to continue for days or even weeks," he told AAP.

"People in the general vicinity may feel them, but they should not be alarmed because they'll be weaker and won't last as long as the quake."

The largest of the aftershocks was a magnitude four at 5pm Saturday, it was followed by a magnitude 3.2 at 11pm and a 3.4 at 1.30am, all less than 50 kilometres off the coast.

Mr Glanville said the tremors were too small to cause damage.

"A magnitude 3.2 or even a four is not expected to cause any damage, the shaking is a bit stronger and felt over a wider area but generally we don't expect damage until around magnitude 4.5," he said.

"We can see the tremors are occurring but they are so small and minor that unless you are living basically on top of them, you wouldn't feel them at all."

Saturday's earthquake was the second in just over a month.

A 4.0 magnitude quake was recorded 30 kilometres offshore from Innisfail, south of Cairns on March 15.