Shallow Quake rips through Australia's Kalgoorlie-Boulder community
SHOOT: It sounds like the quake has basically involved the collapsing of geological structures immediately below the town over a large area. Sounds like quite a mess to fix. How do you prop up a crust that has been drilled and mined to sponge?
Perth - The biggest earthquake in 50 years struck Western Australia's Goldfields region on Tuesday, damaging buildings and closing the massive "Super Pit" gold mine, officials said.
Hundreds of workers were evacuated from the vast open-cast facility, the area's biggest employer, and the underground Mount Charlotte operation after the 5.0-magnitude quake hit just outside the Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining towns.
But nobody was reported hurt in the quake, which left some streets littered with bricks from damaged buildings and rattled residents at around 08:17 (00:17 GMT).
Residents also said holes had appeared in some roads. The worst-hit buildings were historic structures in the centre of Boulder, which sprang up in the wake of Australia's 1800s Gold Rush.
"We're living in this big mining area. There's a big hole here and there's underground tunnels everywhere," said local resident Annie Fowler.