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Aftershocks continuing off north Qld

AAP logoAAP 18/08/2016 By Darren Cartwright

Aftershocks are still being recorded off the coast of north Queensland where a magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck on Thursday.

According to Geoscience Australia, there have been 15 aftershocks since the earthquake was recorded at 2.30pm (AEST), some 70km off the coast of Bowen.

The latest was a magnitude-3.0 tremor at 7.37am on Friday which followed a magnitude-4.1 tremor at 4.27am.

Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said the magnitude of the Bowen earthquake was significant but not the biggest in recent years in Australia.

"We had an earthquake in Northern Territory earlier which was 6.1 and that was the largest earthquake in 20 years and it has certainly been an active 12 months for earthquakes in Australia."

Had the epicentre of Thursday's quake been on land it may have had the potential to do more damage than the Newcastle earthquake in the late 1980s that claimed 13 lives, he said.

"It was bigger than the Newcastle earthquake so in comparison to that it certainly had the potential to do some significant damage," he told AAP.

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