A rare 6.0-magnitude earthquake has struck Australia’s southern coast, 110 miles northeast of Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city, causing buildings to shake over 300 miles away in the national capital, Canberra, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
According to local authorities, the tremor has inflicted significant damage, as seen in videos circulating online, including in Melbourne, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or injuries and there was currently no tsunami threat to the region.
Geoscience Australia noted that the first earthquake was detected in the Alpine National Park south-east of Mansfield, a town of fewer than 4,000 people in northeastern Victoria, and was 10 km deep, stressing it is one of the largest earthquakes in eastern Australia since European settlement.
According to Tim Wiebusch, chief officer of operations Victoria’s State Emergency Service, the initial quake was followed by six aftershocks, with magnitudes of 2.4, to 4.1.
The magnitude 6.0 quake that struck Mansfield was more powerful than Australia’s deadliest tremor, the 5.6 earthquake in 1989 that hit which left 13 people dead in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Wiebusch stressed that it was fortunate the epicentre was in a less populated regional area.
Some photos and videos on social media show the aftermath of the earthquake which appeared to have damaged some buildings in Melbourne, covering the streets with rubble, while other videos show city residents caught off guard by the jolt.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp warned that Victoria ss likely to see aftershocks in the weeks and even months ahead thou it’s unlikely for them to exceed the magnitude-5.9 quake, tremors of which were felt across four states- much of south-eastern Australia including South Australia, Tasmania and Canberra in New South Wales.
Speaking at his briefing in New York City, where he’s attending the UN General Assembly, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the earthquake was very disturbing and distressing and noted that the federal government is ready to support Victorians as required.
Morrison also noted that earthquakes are very rare events in Australia.