Earthquake takes toll on Darwin homes, buildings

CRACKS are showing in Darwin homes after an earthquake in the Banda Sea rocked the Top End. Since the natural event more than 10 aftershocks have been recorded.

TIO general insurance claims senior manager Margaret Pratten said as of Tuesday afternoon, 20 earthquake-related claims were submitted to the insurance company.

"These claims primarily relate to cracks in ceilings and floors," she said.

Durack resident Michael, who did not want to use his surname, didn't feel the earthquake but said its effects were evident around his home.

"The gyprock, the walls have cracked a bit further, mainly it's where the cornices meet," he said.

"In the computer room you can see the crack comes down and follows the besser block profile." He was disappointed he missed the tremor and his recent renovations were spoiled.

 

Durack resident Michael said cracks in the gyprock and cornices were the main damage at his home caused by the earthquake. Picture: Supplied
Durack resident Michael said cracks in the gyprock and cornices were the main damage at his home caused by the earthquake. Picture: Supplied

"We recently painted inside the house so you go to the toilet and argh, the paints peeled off," he said.

"I said to the wife 'I'm a bit depressed now, didn't experience it. It's the biggest one in the decade, can we have another one?'"

Hundreds of people were evacuated from buildings across Darwin City on Monday. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford
Hundreds of people were evacuated from buildings across Darwin City on Monday. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford

University of Melbourne lecturer in Applied Geoscience Dr Brendan Duffy said 15 aftershocks were recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), but believed more had likely happened.

"There's a general rule of thumb that applies with big earthquakes," he said.

"The biggest aftershock is about 1 magnitude smaller … the amount of energy involved in one of those is something like 30 times less.

"It basically means you might feel a bit of a tremor but you're just too far away to feel the energy of the aftershock."

The biggest aftershock was a 5.6 magnitude and the smallest a 4.0 magnitude.

Earthquakes are a mix of short and long period waves but given Darwin's distance to the Banda Sea, the Top End was hit only by long period waves.

"Long period waves tend to effect tall ones, so people who felt it most were in tall buildings," he said.



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