Quake cracks school
CRACKS riddle the walls of the Leongatha Primary School staffroom after last Tuesday’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake.
The heritage listed building also received damage to the stumps but building inspectors deemed it safe to use.
“All the newer buildings are fine but this older building obviously shook around a lot more than the others,” school principal Rob Higgins said.
“There is some cracking in the walls and some definite movement in the foundations.
“We’ve had the shire building inspector to look at it as well as a contracted inspector, and it has been deemed safe.”
The floor is unstable and even the slightest footsteps cause furniture to shake.
The earthquake stemmed from 13 kilometres north of Mirboo North and was felt across South Gippsland when it hit at around 8.53pm.
The 30 second rumble was felt as far as Albury to the north, the western suburbs of Melbourne and all the way to Orbost in the east.
Seismologist for Geoscience Australia Dan Jaska said there could be more earthquakes to come.
“The Gippsland area has a lot of fault lines and is a hot spot for earthquakes,” he said.
“We’re not sure when another might come but it’s possible they could be up around magnitude seven or eight.”
Gippsland is situated over the Selwyn Fault which caused last week’s quake.
Moe received the most damage, with supermarket stock flying off shelves and some structural damage.
Home-owners are being urged to check for damage in their homes from the earthquake.
Mirboo North dairy farmer Brian Moore discovered cracks in his lounge wall.
“I thought my dog Max was jumping on the deck when it started shaking,” he said.
General manager of Archicentre, David Hallett said small amounts of damage can lead to big problems.
“Leaning walls or brick fences which previously had cracks should be carefully checked, along with any decks and elevated water tanks on old timber stands,” Mr Hallett said.
“Safety should be the most important consideration in all instances.
“Cracks in walls and ceilings, especially in older homes where there is considerable weight in lathe and plaster ceilings, should be treated with caution and people should get professional help to assess their homes by an appropriately qualified structural engineer or architect.”
Mr Hallett added that anyone getting repairs carried out on their home should get at least three quotes to ensure they are paying a fair price.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=3811