Geoscience Australia said an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale struck the city near Melbourne on Wednesday, causing damage to buildings in the country’s second-largest city and causing tremors to be felt throughout the neighboring state. According to records, the disaster was one of the largest earthquakes in Australia.
The epicenter was near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 200 km northeast of Melbourne, and was at a depth of 10 km. Aftershocks occurred with a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale.
Pictures and video footage circulating on social media showed debris blocking one of Melbourne’s main roads. People in the northern part of the city said on social media that the power supply was out and others said they were evacuated from the buildings they were in.
The quake was felt as far as Adelaide, 800 km to the west in the state of South Australia, and Sydney, 900 km to the north in the state of New South Wales. The quake was reported to have caused damage outside Melbourne, but there were no reports of injuries.
More than half of Australia’s 25 million people live in the southeastern part of the country, which includes areas from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney.
“We have had no reports of serious injuries, or worse, and that is very good news and we hope the good news will continue,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Washington. Reuters.
“This could be a very disturbing event, an earthquake like this one. This is a very rare event in Australia and as a result I believe people will be very distressed and disturbed.”
Geoscience Australia said earthquakes were relatively unusual in eastern Australia because of its geographical location in the middle of the Indo-Australian Tectonic Plate. The earthquake on Wednesday (22/9) was bigger than the deadliest earthquake ever to hit the country, which was 5.6 magnitude in Newcastle in 1989. The unfortunate event killed 13 people.
The country’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement that the quake did not pose a tsunami threat on Australian territory. [ah/rs]