5.8 magnitude earthquake jolts southeast Australia
Published: 01:02 PM, 22 September 2021
Large earthquakes are uncommon in Australia because the continent lies centrally on a tectonic plate - Photo: Collected
A rare earthquake has rattled southeast Australia on Wednesday morning, damaging buildings in the city of Melbourne.
This quake struck at a shallow depth of 10km (6.5 miles), according to Geosciences Australia. It was initially measured at 6.0 magnitude before being revised to 5.8.
The earthquake, one of the country’s biggest on record, happened about 09:15 local time (23:15 GMT) at Mansfield, not far from the Victorian state capital.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, "we have had no reports of serious injuries and that is very good news".
The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring South Australia and New South Wales (NSW).
It was followed by two aftershocks of 4.0 and 3.1 magnitude.
While this is one of Australia's largest earthquakes in recent years, it does not appear to have caused significant damage.
Speaking from the US, Morrison noted earthquakes were uncommon in Australia and they "can be a very, very disturbing event".
Victoria's State Emergency Service warned residents to be alert for possible aftershocks.
"If you are located in Victoria, you are in danger. Expect aftershocks, stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards. Avoid driving, except for emergencies," the authority said.
Large earthquakes are uncommon in Australia because the continent lies centrally on a tectonic plate. The geoscience agency says Australia experiences a potentially damaging earthquake - defined as above 6.0 magnitude - about every 10 years.