A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded in northeastern Victoria, the largest in the state’s history, was felt in Canberra this morning.
According to Geoscience Australia, the 5.8 magnitude earthquake was 10 km deep and centered at Mansfield, a small town at the foot of the Victoria Alps about 350 km southwest of Canberra, around 9.15am.
Another earthquake, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, followed, also at Mansfield, about 15 minutes later.
Houses in Melbourne shook and movement from the earthquake could be felt in Geelong and even in Canberra’s Parliament House.
ACT ESA says their Emergency Triple Zero call center has received “a number of calls from concerned community members who have felt the aftermath” of the Canberra earthquake, with no reports of damage within ACT “at this time”.
Both Canberrans and Victorians took massive to social media from around 6 p.m. 9.20 today to report their experiences with the earthquake.
Victoria’s largest earthquake ever ‘rattles
After wreaking havoc in Victoria this morning, Seismology Research Center chief researcher Adam Pascale said aftershocks could continue for months, though people may not feel them.
“A magnitude of 5.8 makes this the largest earthquake on land in Victoria in recorded history,” he told the AAP.
“It’s a pretty significant earthquake for this condition.
“There have been aftershocks every few minutes afterwards, the largest (4.7) about 15 minutes afterwards. We expect that these aftershocks are likely to continue for several months. ”
Victoria’s State Emergency Service confirmed to the AAP that the quake “originated in Mansfield. There is no tsunami threat”.
Victoria SES receives calls for assistance from across the state and has not yet made an assessment of any damage.
There are reports of injuries in Prahran, Brunswick, West Melbourne and Albert Park and on the outside 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 quake struck, restaurant manager Troy McDonagh told AAP.
“We’re out for months, it’s structural, it looks like the top is gone, we need to get engineers to assess it, and then the work needs to be completed,” he said.
Lynne Myers of High County Apparel in Mansfield told AAP “it just scared the hell out of us”.
“Everything was shaking, the roof was shaking, boots were falling off the shelf and I was just running outside,” she said.
“There are no cracks or anything in the walls. We seem to have gotten over it well. Everyone is a little shaken here, but there does not appear to be any damage.
“I have lived here for 29 years and have never felt anything like it.”
Mansfield Shire councilor Mark Holcombe said he lived in the area for 20 years but had never experienced an earthquake. He said it “came out of the left field”.
“It was really strong. I was sitting at work at my desk and I needed to run outside, it took me a while to figure out what it was, ”he told ABC TV.
“I have previously been in earthquakes abroad, and it seemed to last longer than I have experienced before.
“The other thing that surprised me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumble like a truck passing by. ”
Tremors were also felt as far away as NSW’s central coast, almost 1,000 km from Melbourne.
Construction movement was reported in Sydney’s CBD and by people back home in some suburbs of Sydney.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is currently in Washington DC, said he had spoken by text message to Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews after the quake.
“It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this kind,” he told reporters.
“These are very rare incidents in Australia and therefore I am sure people would have been quite depressed and disturbed by it, especially in the most affected area.”
Any federal response to the emergency will be handled by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The quake was initially recorded with a magnitude of 6.0, but was later downgraded to 5.8 on the Richter scale.
There are no reports of injuries in the other states.
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