NSW earthquake: Gold mine evacuated, residents in Orange woken up by shaking

NSW earthquake: Gold mine evacuated, residents in Orange woken up by shaking

NSW earthquake: Gold mine evacuated, residents in Orange woken up by shaking

Updated 14 April 2017, 13:45 AEST

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake causes a gold mine to be evacuated and provides an early-morning shock for people in the NSW regional centre of Orange.

A magnitude 4.3 earthquake caused a gold mine to be evacuated overnight in central western New South Wales.

A precautionary evacuation was carried out at the Cadia East Gold mine after the earthquake struck about 20 kilometres south-west of Orange at 2:30am.

Staff remained in refuge chambers or safe areas before moving to the surface about 9:30am.

Mine accesses were inspected by geotechnical engineers to ensure they were safe before staff were transferred.

There were no injuries and all staff were accounted for, police said. Production at the mine has been suspended.

Orange resident Andrew Vogler said it was a surreal experience.

"It felt as if someone was shaking the front door to get in and the windows and the whole house started to rattle," he said.

"It went on for the best part of 10 seconds and a few barking dogs down the street and that eerie silence going 'hang on, did that just happen?'

"It was as if a jet plane had just flown straight over the top of the house."

Mr Vogler said his house survived the earthquake unscathed.

Geoscience Australia received more than 50 reports from people who felt the earthquake.

"They generally felt it as if a big truck was going past their house, or a train was going past their house, gave the house a bit of a shake, gave the windows a bit of a rattle and that's pretty much it," senior seismologist Dan Jaksa said.

"[With a] 4.3, generally you'd need to be right above it to have any damage but even the damage would be very slight, things like stuff falling off bookcases or shelving, that would be all that would happen if you were very close to it."

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