Today you get three pictures for the price of one. It is the 46th anniversary of the Meckering earthquake which occurred on this day in 1968. At 10.59 a.m. the small town of Meckering was destroyed by an earthquake. It was magnitude 6.9 on the Richter Scale making it one of the largest recorded in the seismic history of Australia. It was felt throughout the southern half of the State and caused damage in the surrounding townships, particularly York and Northam and in the Perth Metropolitan area.
Meckering lies 130 km east from Perth. Although this earthquake was not the largest in Western Australia's history, it was certainly the most significant in terms of damage done and cultural upheaval. It caused ground rupturing nearly 40km long, some of which can still be seen today. The maximum felt intensity on the Modified Mercalli Scale was 9. The damage exceeded five million dollars (in 1968 dollars). Meckering's population at the time was approximately 240. Twenty people were injured but amazingly nobody was killed.
This is the Meckering hotel after the earthquake:
and this is a section of twisted railway line which gives an indication of how destructive this quake was:
Phil and I, with our two children and my mum, were away that long weekend and when the earthquake occurred we were in Pemberton, 329 km south of Perth. Phil and Steve were half way up the big lookout tree and Mum, Karen and I heard what sounded like heavy rain and wind coming through the karri forest. We called for Phil and Steve to come down and when they did they wondered why we had called them as nothing happened. It was not until we arrived at Manjimup (295 south of Perth) we learned of the earthquake and realised that was the noise we had heard. There were also a few bits and pieces (large potplants and the like) that had toppled over in the main street of that town. We continued to get after shocks in Perth for some time afterwards.