Several earthquake shocks were felt in various places during Friday, Saturday and Sunday last, but whilst most were not of a serious character, that experienced shortly after 8 o'clock on Friday evening was one of the most severe yet experienced in South Australia. The shock was felt over a large area, buildings shook, furniture and crockery rocked and rattled, and in many places considerable damage was done. Needless to say such experiences caused considerable alarm.
Locally comparatively little damage was done. The walls of several buildings in the town and the mines were cracked. At the Methodist Church the choir was assembled for practice when the shock came, and as the timbers of the roof creaked and cracked with the swaying of the building and the slates rattled, the members had a trying experience. They left the building as quickly as possible, and just as they got out a portion of the stone cross fell fromlthe top of the church and struck the footpath close to one of the members. At All Saints Church the choir had a similar experience, but although it seemed as if the roof was about to collapse no damage resulted.
The shocks seem to have been most severe on Southern Yorke's Peninsula, the township of Warooka and the lighthouses at Troubridge and Corney Point being considerably damaged. At the Troubridge light the vibration caused the lamps to overbalance, and the oil catching fire the lantern and machinery were practically destroyed. The effects of the shock at other Peninsula centres are briefly given below.
Arthurton—Several buildings cracked and pieces of ceiling, fell. People who were in bed dressed and ran out.
Corney Point—The base of the lighthouse was cracked, and the casting which supports the lamp was broken. The head keeper was in the tower at the time, and had a trying experience. The noise of the earthquake was most appalling. Besides the awful noise underground, the iron roofs of the houses sounded as though they were being smashed, and torn by hundreds of hammers, whilst plaster and mortar flew in showers from the walls and ceilings. People stood in speechless horror listening to the awful sounds. Horses galloped wildly about, and birds of all kinds uttered plaintiff eries.
Curramulka—The shock caused quite a panic for a few moments. Dozens of articles were shaken off the shelves in the local store.
Maitland—Windows shook and articles in houses were shifted, but very little damage was done.
Port Victoria—The ground heaved and the buildings were much shaken, and frightened people ran into the streets. Many houses have the walls cracked and portions of the ceiling have fallen. The Albatross, on its way from Port Pirie to Wardang Island was stopped by the shock, the boat heaving as if it had grounded on rocks. The Lurline, from Port Adelaide to Port Victoria, Had a similar experience.
Port Vincent—Several buildings were cracked.
Minlaton—The floors seemed to rise right up, pictures flopped about, the water swished in the tanks and did not settle for many minutes. Very little damage was done in the town, but out outside farmers complain of damaged walls, and some underground tanks will suffer. A young man and a lad had a narrow escape. They were sitting by a wall, and had just moved when a portion of the gable wall crashed down where they had been sitting.
Port Lincoln—There was great consternation amongst the residents. Most houses are more or less, damaged, particularly on the direct line of the earthquake. The institute front wall is cracked from floor to ceiling. Much piaster is down in the Anglican church and the Methodist church is also damaged. Chimneys vibrated like reeds.
Port Wakefield —The houses were shaken to their foundations, and chairs danced en the floor. The people were greatly startled and every body rushed out of doors.
Stansbury—A concert was being given in the Institute, when the shock dislodged a portion of the ceiling ornament which fell and smashed the large central lamp, leaving the people in darkness. In the rush for the door one old lady was thrown down, but escaped with a black eye, while three others fainted. In a little more than a quarter of an hour the concert was proceeded with. The ketch Fleetwing was loading at the fluxworks, and though there was more than six feet of water beneath her, she appeared to bump on the ground twice. The Adonis was coming from Kangaroo Island at the time, skipping through the rough sea at the rate of eight knots, but was brought to a sudden stop. The shock was so great that the skipper feared he had run into a derelict.
Warooka—Only one building in the township escaped damage, that being the structure formerly used as a lock up, but now being utilised by the local schoolmaster as a storage room. Women and children rushed screaming into the street, cows bellowed, horses stampeded as if mad, and altogether the scene was one of indescribable noise and confusion. The buildings shook violently, pictures and ornaments being hurled to the floor, and it seemed as though the whole township would be destroyed. There were several narrow escapes. Hardly a chimney was left standing. The residents preferred not to return to their homes that night, and lit a bonfire on a vacant space in the town, where they remained till the following morning. Many camped out again on Saturday night.
Wallaroo—Some ceilings were damaged and walls cracked. Over 300 children were attending a singing practice at the Methodist Church at the time, and all rushed off the high platform for the door. It was a wonder that no one was hurt. Yorketcown—Both hotels in the town suffered through falling pictures and plaster. The Wesleyan Church wan badly cracked, and the English Church suffered. Tanks in some instances are leaking, and in private houses large cracks are visible in the walls.