Earthquake hits east of Melbourne
An earthquake has struck Victoria and the tremors were felt across Melbourne and as far away as Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.
The magnitude 5.8 quake was 10km deep and centred at Mansfield, a small town on the foothills of Victoria’s alps, at around 9.15am on Wednesday, according to Geoscience Australia.
A second quake registered at magnitude 4 on the Richter scale followed, also at Mansfield, about 15 minutes later.
Victorians took to social media to report they had felt the quake.
Houses in Melbourne shook and movement was felt in Geelong and even at Canberra’s Parliament House, Sydney’s CBD, northern Tasmania and parts of Adelaide and other areas in South Australia.
Victoria’s State Emergency Service confirmed to AAP the earthquake “emanated from Mansfield. There is no tsunami threat”.
The SES is receiving calls for assistance from across the state and is yet to make an assessment of any damage.
There are reports of damage in Prahran, Brunswick, West Melbourne and Albert Park and to the exterior of Betty’s Burgers on Chapel Street in Windsor.
No one was inside Betty’s Burgers but a tenant was upstairs in the same building when the earthquake hit, restaurant managing director Troy McDonagh told AAP.
“We’re out for months, it’s structural, it looks like the top’s come away, we need to get engineers in to assess it and then the works will need to be completed,” he said.
Lynne Myers of High County Apparel in Mansfield told AAP “it just scared the hell out of us.”
“Everything shook, the roof shook, boots fell off the shelf and I just ran outside,” she said.
“There’s no cracks or anything in the walls. We seem to have got over it pretty well. Everyone’s a bit shaken up here but there doesn’t seem to be any damage.
“I’ve lived here 29 years and have never felt anything like it.”
Craig Luelf from the All Seasons Mansfield resort said he was outside the town’s hospital when he felt “waves of the ground moving.”
“It was quite scary. At first, I thought the car was having a few issues and then realised all of a sudden that everything was moving,” he told AAP.
“My father’s neighbour is at the top of a hill and he could see the waves of the ground moving up the hill.
“Other than that, it’s just having fun trying to avoid the COVID getting around.”
Tremors were also felt as far away as the NSW central coast, nearly 1000km from Melbourne.
Building movement was reported in Sydney’s CBD, and people at home in some suburbs of Sydney took to social media to say they had felt the quake.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is currently in Washington DC, said he had spoken by text with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews following the earthquake.
“It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this nature,” he told reporters.
“They are very rare events in Australia and as a result, I am sure people would have been quite depressed and disturbed by that, particularly in the most immediate area affected.”
Any federal response to the emergency will be handled by Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The earthquake was originally recorded as a magnitude 6 but was later downgraded to 5.8 on the Richter scale.
There are no reports of damage in the other states.