Adelaide, South Australia, March 1954


Quick Statistics

3 Injured

On 1 March 1954 for 20 to 30 seconds, a 5.5 Richter Scale earthquake caused damage to 3000 buildings including collapsed and cracked walls, smashed windows and collapsed chimneys mainly in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. Some houses were reduced to rubble. The earthquake, which started at approximately 3.45 am, caused some metropolitan areas to lose power for two hours. Several big city buildings were cracked and damaged. It also resulted in three people being seriously injured. At the time, damage from the earthquake was estimated at approximately £3 million.

Information Sources

Adelaide Now, ‘SA could have major earthquake’, 19 April 2009, website viewed 2 February 2012
Geoscience Australia, Historic Events – earthquakes, website viewed 2 February 2012
Primary industries and resources SA, ‘Major earthquakes in South Australia’, website viewed 11 March 2011
The Advertiser, ‘Earthquake centre may have been few miles from city’, 3 March 1954, viewed on Trove website (ID 47573779) 11 March 2011
University of Adelaide, ‘Repeat of 1954 quake would cost $1billion: experts’, media release, website viewed 11 March 2011