Strong 6.6 quake hits off northwest Australia

The earthquake hit off the coast of Western Australia between Broome and Port Hedland. Source EMSC

The earthquake hit off the coast of Western Australia between Broome and Port Hedland. Source EMSC

It is the biggest natural disaster ever felt in WA, with the previous record belonging to the devastating 1968 Meckering quake that measured 6.5 on the Richter scale.

The natural disaster, which struck at 1:39 p.m. local time on Sunday, was centered in the ocean about 209 kilometers (130 miles) southwest of Broome, a town which is popular with tourists in a sparsely populated area in the northwest of Australia. It reported the magnitude at 6.9. A few things fell off the walls onto the floors.

There were also casualties nor damage to buildings.

"This is the first time I've experienced anything like that.it's a bit frightening when the ground around you is moving and you can actually feel yourself and everything around you moving with the Earth".

Locals rushed to social media rushed to document the tremors, with a man in Port Headland posting a video of his entire kitchen shaking as glass bottles rattle against each other.

And aftershocks are to be expected, Phil Cummins, a geologist at Government's GeoScience Australia, warned.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has not released a tsunami warning.

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"It's always hard to say whether it could be a preview to something bigger".

"You certainly can expect aftershocks, so there will definitely be earthquakes that are smaller than this one occurring with less and less frequency as time goes by, less and less intensity".

The natural disaster was also felt strongly on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome.

David Channing lives at Mercedes Cove about 170km north of Broome.

"It felt like being on one of those vibrating machines".

"It was pretty freaky, the building started creaking and carrying on".

Shortly after the quake, Mr Channing received a call from his sister-in-law, who had been in Broome's shopping centre when it struck.

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