When The Earth Moved In Meckering

On the 14th of October 1968 the town of Meckering, in Western Australia’s wheat belt, was destroyed by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. Most of the buildings were damaged beyond repair

Earthquake Ruins at Salisbury House

but luckily no one was killed! On the 40th anniversary of the quake a beautiful memorial rose garden was established by the local community.

Memorial Rose Garden

The area also has reminders of the earthquake which left a scar 32kms long and up to 2 metres high. It is the worst earthquake in WA’s history. Look at this section of the railway which was buckled by the quake.

Photo from the time in the small museum

Mr Chic Wadley is the very informative custodian at the Big Camera museum near the gardens. His camera collection numbers over 4000 but I was more interested in finding out about the earthquake. He also has information, photos and newspaper articles about the catastrophe that happened here. It literally wiped out the town!

Mr Chic Wadley

Meckering is on the pipeline that takes water from Perth to Kalgoorlie, the golden pipeline as it’s known, and the force of the earthquake telescoped sections of it.

Telescoped pipeline

I like the art installation in the memorial garden depicting the damage done to homes at the time.

After leaving Meckering we had the opportunity to experience the ‘earthquake house’ at Cunderdin. We sat in a room and it simulated the Meckering earthquake, shaking violently for 40 seconds. OMG I never realised how long 40 seconds could be! It must have been terrifying at the time 😱

Meckering today is quiet and peaceful although Chic assured us, with proof on his seismograph, that tremors still occur frequently – fortunately not at the same magnitude as the one in 1968.

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