Australian Earthquake Hazard Map Identifies Moe, York, Kirwan and Tenant Creek as New Hotspots

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 19, 2012 7:04 PM EST

Australian seismologists have developed and released a new National Earthquake Hazard Map of Australia, which identified the areas of Moe in Victoria, York and Kirwan in Western Australia as well as Tenant Creek in the Northern Territory the country's most susceptible to the natural occurrence.

Primarily developed to help analyze Australia's earthquake-prone areas, the map intends to help builders and engineers better plan on where and how to build structures, as well as design the structures' safety and effectiveness.

"Although these maps do not enable us to predict earthquakes, they will allow engineers and planners to design and locate buildings and infrastructure so as to better protect our communities," Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said in launching the project on Monday.

He said the plan will be integrated into Australia's building code with the end in view to enlighten engineers as they design and build structures which should be able to withstand the likely ground shaking at any particular location.

Australia has been subjected to 168 earthquakes above magnitude 5.0 since 1950. In 2011, earthquakes recorded at a magnitude 3.0 or above totaled 82.

The modelling and data, already made public, may also be used by emergency managers, researchers and the insurance industry, Mr Ferguson said.

To know more about the map, click here: http://www.ga.gov.au/darwin-view/hazards.xhtml

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