Clean up is underway in Kalgoorlie Boulder after an earthquake measuring a magnitude 5 occurred approximately one to two kilometres south west of the city centre this morning.
More than 28 FESA State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers, career Fire and Rescue Service and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service firefighters have been working with local authorities to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
Following a preliminary assessment there has been wall and roof damage to approximately 40 public and commercial buildings.
Damage has been mainly in the Boulder area predominantly on Burt, Moran and Piesse Streets. There are 29 buildings in this area with cracks, two buildings with badly damaged walls and one collapsed chimney.
The Shire of Kalgoorlie Boulder conducted initial structural assessments today and will fly in five additional structural engineers tomorrow to help evaluate the condition of damaged buildings to determine if they are safe to enter.
During the earthquake a balcony collapsed at the Golden Eagle Hotel on Lionel Street, Boulder and there was structural damage to the Rock Inn on Burt Street.
There was a ceiling collapse at Boulder Primary School. Parents are asked to keep students at home tomorrow so the clean up can take place however facilities and staff will be at the school if this is not possible. The school will reopen on Thursday.
There was minor damage to other schools including O’Connor Primary School, North Kalgoorlie Primary School, Kalgoorlie Primary School and Kalgoorlie School of Air. Students at these schools are unaffected and the schools will remain open.
Firefighters also attended to a gas leak on Hopkins Street.
Local mines in the area were evacuated as part of normal safety procedures following the earthquake.
Kalgoorlie prison had minor damage but no inmates were affected.
Two people from Boulder were treated for minor injuries at Kalgoorlie Hospital.
Earlier in the day the hospital had been evacuated while an inspection was conducted and medical gases checked. There was only minor damage such as cracks to the walls and the hospital returned to normal.
People impacted by the earthquake are being asked to:
- Listen for information and follow advice from authorities.
- Be careful of downed powerlines and falling debris.
- If you have relocated, do not return home until authorities advise it is safe to do so.
- If returning, take the roads recommended by authorities and do not hurry.
If your home or property has been damaged you should:
- Use a torch rather than matches, cigarette lighters or naked flames due to the potential of flammable gas.
- Assess your home and property for damage, take photographs as soon as possible for insurance purposes.
- Start cleaning up around your home – stack loose material clear of water metres, valve and telephone lines.
- Check whereabouts of pets and animals.
The City of Kalgoorlie Boulder has set up an earthquake information centre at the KCGM Superpit Shop at the far eastern end of Burt Street, Boulder. It will be open to the public until at least 9pm.
There was minimal impact to the Western Power network.
People are reminded to not approach fallen powerlines, they are dangerous and should always be treated as live. Call Western Power on 13 13 51 to report downed powerlines or if you have problems.
The Water Corporation has reported that residents returning home should not have water supply problems. If you do have problems call 13 13 75 immediately.
A number of roads will remain closed in the Boulder business centre due to damage and debris until an assessment can be completed.
These include the roads between Moran and Piesse Streets, bounded by Hamilton and Lionel Streets. This includes parts of Burt and Lane Streets.
Further clarification should be sought from the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder on 90219600 (office hours) or Alex Wiese on 0417 711 510.
- If your home has been badly damaged and you need help call the SES on 132 500.
- In a life threatening emergency call 000.
This information is also available by calling 1300 657 209 or visiting www.fesa.wa.gov.au