A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Melbourne on Wednesday, Geoscience Australia said, one of the country’s largest earthquakes, damaging buildings in the country’s second-largest city and sending tremors across neighboring states.
The epicenter of the quake was near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 200 km (124 mi) northeast of Melbourne, and was at a depth of 10 km (six mi). Aftershock was rated 4.0.
Images and video footage circulated on social media showed debris blocking one of Melbourne’s main streets, while people in northern parts of the city said on social media they had lost power and others said they had to. were removed from the buildings.
The quake was felt as far away as the city of Adelaide, 800 km (500 mi) to the west in the state of South Australia, and 900 km (600 mi) north in the state of Sydney, New South Wales, although there was damage outside Melbourne. There are no reports of injuries and no reports of injuries.
Australia’s population of over 25 million lives in the southeast of the country from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney.
“We haven’t received any reports of serious injuries, or worse, and that’s great news and we hope the good news continues,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Washington.
“It could be a very disturbing event, an earthquake of this nature. They are very rare occurrences in Australia and as a result, I am sure people will be quite distressed and upset. “
According to Geology Australia, earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the populated east of Australia due to their position in the middle of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate. Wednesday’s earthquake measured 5.6 higher than the country’s deadliest quake, Newcastle in 1989, resulting in 13 deaths.
Mansfield Mayor Mark Holcombe said he was on his farm in his home office when the quake struck and ran outside to safety.
“I’ve been in earthquakes overseas before and it feels like something I’ve experienced before,” Holcombe told ABC. “The other thing that shocked me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumble like a big truck going past.”
He did not know of any serious damage near the epicenter of the earthquake, although some residents reported problems with telecommunications.
The country’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement that no tsunami threat has been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or regions.
The earthquake presented a potential disruption to expected anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne on Wednesday, which will be the third day of unrest that has reached an increasing level of violence and police response.
Reporting by Byron Kaye and Renju Jose in Sydney, Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry and Sri Navaratnam