Earthquakes are unpredictable and can happen at any time. They can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and may be followed by a series of aftershocks.
An earthquake is the shaking and vibration at the surface of the Earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity.
Earthquakes take place because the Earth's tectonic plates are always moving and floating on molten rock.
Western Australia not only has the highest incidence of earthquakes in Australia but has also recorded mainland Australia's most powerful earthquake.
Earthquakes have the potential to cause major damage and loss of life, and as they are random events they are difficult to prepare for.
The Hazard Management Authority for earthquakes is Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).