If you have read my previous post Mandurah To Kalgoorlie – 9 Hours Drive, I have mentioned that Meckering is our first rest stop whenever we are going back to Kalgoorlie and it is our last rest stop when going back home to Mandurah.
We have been going past this town many times now and we have not even bothered looking at the history of it. This is the good thing about steemit.com, we go and find something interesting to write about and learn at the same time. Maybe if not with steemit I will probably not look at the history of Meckering.
Meckering is an Aboriginal word thought to mean “moon on the water” or “good hunting”. I don’t know why and I don’t see the connection of the town to the “moon on the water” or “good hunting”.
The most significant event that put Meckering on the map is the earthquake that happened back in 1968.
The town was devastated by an earthquake with a force of 6.9 on the Richter scale at 10:59 am on Monday 14 October 1968. It was the most severe earthquake recorded in Australia to that time. In the space of 40 seconds virtually the whole town was destroyed. More than 40 tremors were felt, some up to 5 on the Richter scale in the 24 hours that followed the main quake.
The quake’s epicentre 9 km southwest of the town. It left a fault line 32 km long. In some areas the ground was pushed up 1.5 meters. In others a deep crack in the earth opened up, deep enough for a man to stand in.
A man driving a car along Great Eastern Highway towards Meckering later said, that the earth just rose in front of him.
Luckily no one was killed in the earthquake or the shock that followed. Because it was public holiday the school and most of the commercial buildings were empty. Injuries were also minimal. 20 people from Meckering and York were admitted to hospital. Another 12 people were treated and released, most sustained broken bones, cuts, bruises and shock.
Many of the town’s services were cut including road and rail connections and power, telephone and water supplies.
The force of the earthquake twisted and buckled both standard gauge railway line connecting Perth to Kalgoorlie and the Eastern States, and the narrow gauge railway line servicing Western Australia’s south west.
This is the actual train track. The damaged section was cut and displayed at the Memorial Park.
2 duplicate pipes on the Goldfield Water Supply Scheme burst about 6 km west of the town. The 30 inches pipe telescoped into itself over 1 meter. In all approximately 120 meters of pipe had to be re-laid.
This is the actual pipe. The damaged section was cut and displayed at the Memorial Park.
Although it was 12 hours before temporary repairs were done there was no threat to the water supply past Meckering as all the storage reservoirs were full. There was no other damage to dams, pipes or pump station.
Other Places Of Interest In Meckering
If you want to come and visit Meckering, you can start at the Memorial Park. There is also a big space for caravans and campervans. Toilets and showers are 24/7 and there is a provision to empty your caravan potty (not sure what they call it)
Within that Memorial Park you will see some displays from the earthquake.
Near the Memorial Park is “The Big Camera”, a camera shaped building housing a museum of photography.
You could visit the actual fault line and old building ruins.
References: Meckering Memorial Park
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