Nine people are missing after a powerful earthquake struck the eastern Kimberley state.
Key points:The seven-strong group were found dead near the town of Moo, about 300km south of TownsvilleThe WA Government says the quake struck in the area where a nearby hydroelectric dam was also locatedTwo people died in the quake and two were rescuedThe WA Emergency Service says the town where a hydroelectric plant was located is on alert following the tremorEighteen people were found deceased in the epicentre of the quake, which struck in late December, WA Emergency Services spokesperson Stephen Reiter said.
The people were in a remote area about 300 kilometres (186 miles) east of Towns, near the Kew and Woomera hydroelectric stations.
Four people died and one person was rescued, he said.
Mr Reiter was unable to provide details of the deceased or who rescued the other two.
The state Government says it is now on alert after the treble quake.
Mr Morrison said there was no immediate threat to the communities of Woomer and Kew.
“We will have to make some assessments of how quickly things can be rebuilt, and I will make those assessments,” he said, warning there was still time for some “challenging” work.
“Our priority at the moment is to get everybody home safely, and we will do that, but there are other things we have to consider.”
The state has issued a warning to people to stay away from the town, warning of potential hazards including high winds and landslides.
“There are potential landslides along the fault and we need to make sure we are prepared for those things,” Mr Morrison said.
“That’s what we’re going to be focusing on now.”‘
Very dangerous’West Australians have been advised to be vigilant around the dams in the nearby Woomeroos, where an earlier treble earthquake struck in December.
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