The December 28, 1989 Newcastle, Australia earthquake

  • D. R. Brunsdon Irwin, Johnson and Partners, Sydney, Australia


The December 28, 1989 Newcastle earthquake resulted in the loss of twelve lives and caused significant damage to many masonry buildings. Although Australia has previously experienced earthquakes of greater magnitude and intensity, this was the first such event to occur near a highly populated area in that country. While this earthquake is a relatively moderate event in international terms, it is nevertheless of particular interest to New Zealand earthquake engineers and researchers and the insurance industry because of the social and organisational similarities between Newcastle and a number of large New Zealand cities. The nature of the damage to buildings and services is summarised, along with insurance aspects and the response of local authorities.


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How to Cite
Brunsdon, D. R. (1990). The December 28, 1989 Newcastle, Australia earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 23(2), 102-120.