A seismic swarm is in progress along the coast of northern New South Wales, Australia since Friday, January 19, 2018, raising fears that a bigger earthquake might hit the region. Authorities say that while they can’t rule out a bigger one, they don’t see it likely. From 22:50 UTC on January 19 to 08:08 UTC on January 24, Geoscience Australia registered a total of 21 earthquakes along the coast of NSW, between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, with magnitudes ranging from 1.8 to 4.2 and depths up to 10 km (6.2 miles).

The strongest so far was M4.2 at a depth of 10 km with epicenter located just off the coast of Nambucca Heads. The quake hit at 02:28 UTC on January 24 (13:28 local time). There are no reports of injuries and no threat of a tsunami. Locals reported minor damage (cracked walls) and said the shaking lasted between 10 and 15 seconds. “It’s not unusual to get a swarm of earthquakes when stresses exceed the strength of the rock,” Geoscience Australia said, adding that they continue to receive felt reports from Scott’s Heads (south of M4.2 earthquake). These, however, are too small and cannot be located accurately by our instruments, the agency added. READ MORE