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Quake shakes WA wheat belt, historic buildings survive

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A 4.7 magnitude earthquake has hit the WA Great Southern town of Wagin shortly before 5.30am on Tuesday.

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Aftershocks have been felt, including a 3.6 magnitude one near Arthur River and a 2.6 magnitude one near Darkan.

The quake was about eight kilometres deep, says Geoscience Australia, with 518 felt reports.

Wagin is a wheatbelt town about 230km southeast of Perth, known for its giant ram “Bart” and annual Woolarama event.

Shire president Phillip Blight told AAP thankfully Bart and the century-old buildings in the town had escaped damage.

“I’m just having a look right now at the giant ram in Wagin to make sure he hasn’t suffered any damage…he’s great,” Mr Blight said.

“(My wife and I) were having breakfast and it built fairly rapidly, it started and built fairly rapidly to a maximum intensity and it just rumbled along.

“It just wasn’t probably quite strong enough that I could see a plate or a knife or a fork moving on the table sort of thing, it didn’t do that. But yeah, just strong enough to certainly recognise what it was.”

A 5.9 magnitude quake rocked the Victorian town of Mansfield in September 2021.

In 2018, Lake Muir in WA’s southwest was hit by a 5.7 magnitude quake.

In 1968 the town of Meckering had a damaging 6.78 magnitude earthquake.

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