5.4 Magnitude Tremor Hits WA One Week Before Earthquake Conference

Thousands of West Australians woke up to shaky ground on Friday morning as a magnitude 5.4 earthquake sent tremors across the state's southwest.

But while there's no ideal time for an earthquake, it would appear this one did come just a tad early.

In exactly one week, the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society will hold its annual meeting of seismologists in -- get this -- Perth.

Adam Pascale, the chief technology officer at the Seismology Centre, said conference-goers are likely to be a little disappointed.

“It would have been really good if it happened while we were there because we basically only meet once a year, all the Australian seismologists," Pascale told 10 daily.

“We organised this conference to happen in WA this year because it’s the anniversary of the Meckering earthquake which wiped out the town of Meckering in Western Australia 50 years ago, so the timing of it was coincidental."

"It would have been nice for everyone to have felt it at the conference."

Is the quake an omen? A welcome? At the very least, it'll be a topic of conversation at the conference.

Residents from Perth all the way down to Albany took to social media with reports of being woken up by the quake's shake, which struck the Lake Muir area just after 5am.

"Okay this is big news for Perth as we never get them," one user wrote. "But I legit was woken up by an Earthquake."

It comes just a few months after a 5.7 magnitude tremor hit the same area in WA. So while a "decent number of people" feeling a quake in an Australian capital city understandably raises questions, Pascale says this year it's less rare than others.

"We've had big events, fives and sixes out in the middle of nowhere where it just disturbs a couple of kangaroos, but not much else so it's unusual that we've had two events within a period of a couple of months in a major city," he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed there was no tsunami threat to Australia as a result of the earthquake.

Contact the author: vquested@networkten.com.au

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