Geoscience Australia has recorded a 3.8 magnitude earthquake off Airlie Beach.
Geoscience Australia has recorded a 3.8 magnitude earthquake off Airlie Beach.

Earthquake strikes off the coast of Airlie Beach


Update, 6.50am:

HARVARD Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell has ruled out the earthquake near Airlie Beach was a result of a meteor near Gladstone. 

He believes that the likely cause of the bright lights, boom and shaking experience in Gladstone about 8.30 was caused by a meteor.

"A big one, first in several years," he said.

"I'm guessing about a rock about a metre across which would have been big enough perhaps to leave fragments."

RELATED: Reader thought earthquake was a big truck passing by

But the earthquake near Airlie Beach was recorded almost two hours after the possible meteor made its mark in Gladstone.

"Any related quake would have been within a minute of that shaking," he said.

"It's just a coincidence, there are lots of small quakes all the time in your part of the world of course.

"It's possible the shaking was a sonic boom from the meteor (as opposed to it hitting the ground)."


Update, 11.36pm:

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised there is no tsunami threat to the Australian coast after a 3.8-magnitude earthquake hit just off the coast of Airlie Beach earlier tonight.

BREAKING 10.22pm:

A 3.8-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Airlie Beach tonight (Monday)

Recorded by Geoscience Australia, the earthquake measured 3.8 magnitude.

It was recorded at 10.15pm (12.15 UTC time as recorded on GA), and it is estimated it could have been felt by residents 51km away.

Whitsunday residents have already reported being woken by the tremor, with some as far away as Bloomsbury feeling the shake.

Just last month, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Bowen, with aftershocks felt in the Whitsunday region for a week following.

Even in some Mackay suburbs, some residents reported feeling a slight tremor, including at Farleigh, East Mackay, Andergrove, Blacks Beach and Mt Pleasant.

It's certainly the night for eerie coincidences, with a meteor striking near Gladstone earlier this evening.

Gladstone Police received about 20 calls from people who heard a boom, saw a light flashing through the sky and felt their house shaking.

The Gladstone Observer reported earlier that Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crews were on the way out to Emerald after a report that something going through the sky had crashed.

At first it was being treated as a possible aeroplane crash but at this stage they don't know what it is or if there was a crash.

Region reacts to quake

Natalie Hubon: "Right in the heart of mackay and i felt it, but I think it blew a transformer as there was the biggest bang I've ever heard and then smoke"

Jolanda Harrison: "felt it in the office i thought it was a big truck passed on shute harbour rd...Cannonvale"

Eva Parry: "Felt it at Farleigh"

Carly Nicholas: "Felt a slight shaking in my bed in Mt Pleasant"

Sarah-Jane Thompson: "Didn't feel this one at all -- not like last one."

Maria Hallinan: "Felt it in West Mackay"

Tara Goli: "We felt it andergrove"

Lisa Matheson: "Yep in cannonvale airlie."

Shelby Annes Reiki: "I'm at gargett and I felt it"

Paul Simpson: "Tripped out as my master 5 wouldn't go to sleep tonight as he was scared an earthquake would happen. He has never done this b4. Coincidence for sure but spooky"