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December 14th, 2010
Survey of Kalgoorlie Earthquake Damage

Older unreinforced masonry buildings are a particular subset of the built environment which may contribute disproportionately to community risk. Documented information on the damage to buildings caused by earthquake events is fundamental to understanding this risk. On the 20 April 2010 a magnitude 5.0 (ML) earthquake shook the Western Australian goldfields town of Kalgoorlie. The earthquake was shallow (1.7 kilometres) and was located immediately south of the business district of the Kalgoorlie suburb of Boulder (figure 1). The severity of ground motion was found to vary markedly across the town with the older masonry building stock in Boulder experiencing a greater intensity of shaking than the corresponding building stock in the Kalgoorlie business district four kilometres away. The event has provided the best opportunity to examine the earthquake vulnerability of Australian buildings since the Newcastle Earthquake of 28 December 1989 more than twenty years ago. Read More