Biggest quake in 50 years hits Australia's Goldfields | world | Hindustan Times
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Biggest quake in 50 years hits Australia's Goldfields

world Updated: Apr 20, 2010 07:40 IST

The biggest earthquake in 50 years rattled Western Australia's Goldfields region on Tuesday, damaging buildings but not causing any injuries, officials said.

The 5.2-magnitude quake, at a shallow depth of just 10 kilometres (six miles), struck just outside the Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining towns at about 8:17 am (0017 GMT), geologists said.

"The earthquake has impacted mainly the Boulder area damaging around five or six older hotels on Burt Street including the Roc Hotel and Golden Eagle," Geoscience Australia said in a statement.

"Burt and Lane Streets in Boulder have been closed and people are asked to avoid the area. There have been no reports of people trapped or injured."

A spokesman for the geoscientific agency said the remote mining centre, about 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of Perth, had not seen an earthquake bigger than 4.2 in the previous half-century.

"This is quite a large earthquake for Australia and a shallow, potentially damaging, earthquake," he said. "It's the largest event in this area in the last 50 years."

Officials at nearby mines were not immediately available for comment.