Top End residents awoken by magnitude-6.6 earthquake near Indonesia

Top End residents awoken by magnitude-6.6 earthquake near Indonesia

Top End residents awoken by magnitude-6.6 earthquake near Indonesia

Updated 26 March 2018, 16:20 AEDT

Top End residents were shaken awake on Monday morning after a magnitude-6.6 earthquake hit the Banda Sea, more than 600 kilometres away.

Top End residents were shaken awake Monday morning after a magnitude-6.6 earthquake hit the Banda Sea, more than 600 kilometres away.

Key Points

  • An earthquake hit the Banda Sea about 5:45am
  • It was the second earthquake to be felt in the Top End in 12 hours
  • Meanwhile, 448 Top End households remain without power after a cyclone nine days ago

The quake struck the Indonesian sea about 5:45am Australian Central Standard time, at a depth of 177 kilometres.

It was the second quake felt in Darwin in less than 12 hours, following a magnitude-5.9 one in the Banda Sea about 6:30pm Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there was no risk of a tsunami.

Darwin 'perfectly placed' for tremors

Dan Jackson from Geoscience Australia said the city was perfectly placed to feel tremors originating from the Banda Sea.

Just last month residents reported feeling a magnitude-5.3 earthquake from the area.

"The seismic waves that sort of bend as they come up from the depths of the earth up to the surface, they bend perfectly towards Darwin," Mr Jackson said.

He said the tremors had more to do with the distance below surface than the size of the quake.

"It's all about the bending, the refracting, the way in which the seismic waves travel through the crust and then the mantle," he said.

Speaking to ABC Radio, one caller said she felt the earthquake in Katherine, 320 kilometres from Darwin.

"I was in bed, I was just about to get up, I was lying there thinking, and the bed shook lightly, very lightly," she said.

Many Facebook users also reported feeling the earthquake, only days after Tropical Cyclone Marcus swept through the region.

"My first earthquake and TC Marcus was my first cyclone. Thanks NT," Georgina Heard wrote.

Paige Gemma Hobbs wrote that she "definitely felt" the quake, adding it was "stronger than yesterday's".

"Bit of a doozy. But it could have waited another hour until I was supposed to wake up," Marianne Harvey said.

The NT was the site of Australia's largest ever earthquake, which was magnitude 6.6 in Tennant Creek in 1988.

Cyclone recovery continues

Meanwhile, 448 households remained without power after Tropical Cyclone Marcus hit the region nine days ago.

Power and Water said the majority of the remaining jobs were in Howard Springs and Fannie Bay, but there were also individual power issues in other areas.

"We've had a number of issues with locked gates and dogs, and customers still without a certificate of compliance for repairs if they've had to make them," general manager of system control Malcolm Conway said.

The organisation said it hoped to have all properties reconnected by Thursday.

The NT Government said undergrounding the full Darwin power network would cost upwards of $170 million.

Some parts of Nightcliff and Rapid Creek had underground powerlines installed more than a decade ago, but the project was never finished.

"We're looking to release the budget in May and we'll certainly have where our spending priorities are for the 18/19 financial year there," Treasurer Nicole Manison said.

"But it's fair to say we've had incredibly strong feedback about undergrounding power."