Massive 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near Australia sparking a tsunami alert
- A large earthquake was recorded off the Australian coast on Thursday night
- The 7.3 magnitude tremor was recorded near Macquarie Island
- A brief tsunami watch was in place by the Bureau of Meteorology but this lifted
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake has been recorded near Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology reported the shake near Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean at 8.49pm on Thursday.
The earthquake was at a depth of 29.3km. BOM and the Australian territory located south of New Zealand on was briefly on tsunami warning but this was lifted by 10pm.
The quake was also recorded by the US Geological Survey.
The Bureau of Meteorology reported the shake near Macquarie Island, Southern Ocean at 8.49pm on Thursday
The Australian Antarctic Division has a research station on a low-lying area of Macquarie Island (pictured)
There was no tsunami warnings in place for the Australian mainland.
Located 1,600km southeast of Tasmania, Macquarie Island is home is to the Australian Antarctic Division station, which is occupied all year round.
It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and is a refuge for large colonies of penguins and seals.
The island is particularly active in terms of seismic activity, sitting on the boundary between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate.
The island had a 8.2 magnitude earthquake in 1989, the largest intra-oceanic earthquake of the 20th century and also recorded a 8.1 magnitude earthquake in 2004.
In December last year a 6.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded on the island.
Macquarie Island (pictured) has regular seismic activity as it sits on a boundary between the Earth’s plates
The Australian federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is currently looking at modernising the Antarctic research station.
The station sits on a low-lying part of land connecting two parts of the island.
While the government wants to refurbish the existing site, researchers have expressed concerns over the tsunami risk.
Emeritus professor at the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and marine geophysicist professor Mike Coffin said the station should be moved to higher ground.
He said that would mitigate the risk now only from tsunamis but also from underwater landslides.
A colony of Royal Penguins on Macquarie Island which is an Australian territory (pictured)