Earthquake in Melbourne, no tsunami threat issued

Earthquake damaged buildings (Betty’s Burgers) are seen along Chapel Street on September 22, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. A 6.0 magnitude earthquake was felt in south-eastern Australia. The epicenter of the quake was near Mansfield, Victoria, with tremors being felt as far away as Canberra, Sydney and Tasmania.

Asanka Ratnayake | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Melbourne on Wednesday, said Geoscience Australia, one of the largest earthquakes on record in the country, causing damage to buildings in the country’s second largest city and causing tremors in neighboring states.

The epicenter of the quake was near the rural town of Mansfield in Victoria, about 200 km (124 miles) northeast of Melbourne, and at a depth of 10 km (six miles). A replica was evaluated at 4.0.

Images and video circulating on social media showed rubble blocking one of Melbourne’s main streets, while residents in the north of the city said on social media that they had lost power and that others said they were evacuated from the buildings.

The quake was felt as far as the city of Adelaide, 800 km (500 miles) west in the state of South Australia, and Sydney, 900 km (600 miles) north in the State of New South Wales, although there have been no reports of damage outside of Melbourne and no reports of injuries.

More than half of Australia’s 25 million people live in the south-east of the country, from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney.

“We haven’t had 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 can be a very disturbing event, an earthquake of this nature. These are very rare events in Australia and therefore I’m sure people would have been quite anxious and upset.”

Earthquakes are relatively unusual in populated eastern Australia due to its position in the middle of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate, according to Geoscience Australia. Wednesday’s earthquake was higher than the country’s deadliest earthquake, a 5.6 in Newcastle in 1989, which left 13 people dead.

Mansfield Mayor Mark Holcombe said he was in his home office on his farm when the earthquake hit and rushed outside to safety.

“I’ve been a victim of earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to be going on longer than I had experienced before,” Holcombe told the ABC. “The other thing that surprised me was how loud it was. It was a real rumble like a big truck passing by.”

He was not aware of any serious damage near the quake’s epicenter, although some residents reported telecommunications problems.

No tsunami threat has been issued against Australia’s mainland, islands or territories, the country’s Meteorological Office said in a statement.

The quake presented a potential disruption to the expected anti-lockdown protests in Melbourne on Wednesday, which would be the third day of unrest which has reached increasing levels of violence and police response.

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