In Regional

Victor P Taffa

20 years ago at 10.27 am on Thursday, 28 December, 1989, the City of Newcastle was devastated by an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale.







The earthquake is regarded as one of Australia’s worst natural disasters.


Newcastle earthquake 1989

Newcastle earthquake 1989












The earthquake claimed 13 lives including:

  • 9 people at the Newcastle Workers Club
  • 3 people in Beaumont Street Hamilton
  • 1 person died of shock

160 people were hospitalised while 50,000 buildings were damaged including approximately 40,000 homes and 300 buildings were demolished. Damage to buildings and facilities occurred within a 9,000 sq. km region An area of 200,000 Sq Km felt the quakes effect while there were reports of movement up to 800 Km from Newcastle. 300,000 people were affected and 1,000 were left homeless. The cost of damage was estimated at $4 Billion.


Newcastle earthquake 1989

Newcastle earthquake 1989












Personally I felt the earthquake while working in Sydney.

At the time I was employed at Igloo Deli as an Assistant Manager at Macquarie Centre, North Ryde. The store was located in the third floor of the centre.

When the quake struck I was in the kitchen area at the sink cleaning some utensils.

At the time of the quake I felt the floor shake. I thought it odd and kept on working.

Only when I heard about the quake striking Newcastle did I realise that what I felt was the quake itself.


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