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Quake rumbles off Australia's west coast

April 17, 2011 at 8:44 PM

EXMOUTH, Australia, April 17 (UPI) -- A relatively light earthquake occurred early Monday off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

Geoscience Australia reported a 5.3-magnitude quake was recorded at 2:41 a.m. WST. The epicenter was located about 270 kilometers (169 miles) off Exmouth.

Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the temblor was shallow and not widely felt onshore.

"The plates are always moving but these sorts of events in Australia are not particularly uncommon," Bathgate said.

He said Western Australia experienced similar strength quakes in 2000 and in 1970.

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