A Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake Shook Melbourne

Nicole de Souza Nicole de Souza - Staff Writer

A Magnitude 5.9 Earthquake Shook Melbourne

The earthquake started at 9:15am.

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake occurred in regional Victoria earlier this morning. It was felt throughout Melbourne, the ACT and parts of New South Wales. According to Geoscience Australia, the epicentre was north of Rawson, about 180 km east of Melbourne. The earthquake was ten kilometres deep. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there is no tsunami threat. The last memorable earthquake in Melbourne was in 2012.

Melbourne earthquake

There are reports of building damage around Melbourne due to the earthquake. Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) say that phone lines may be busy as a result.

Witnesses have reported damage to buildings in inner Melbourne, such as on Chapel Street. Emergency Victoria has released building damage alerts for suburbs like Richmond, Prahran, Armadale and Albert Park. Apartment buildings are currently being evacuated. There are also reports of significant damage in parts of regional Victoria.

A 4.0 aftershock was detected north of Rawson shortly after at 9:33am. More aftershocks are expected in the future.

Emergency Victoria says that Victorians should stay away from damaged buildings, other hazards and avoid driving unless it’s an emergency, due to the potential for aftershocks.

If aftershocks occur, you can stay safe in the following ways.

When inside:

  • Drop, cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture and hold on.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
In an elevator:
  • Drop, cover and hold on.
  • When the shaking stops, try to get out at the nearest floor if you can safely do so.
When driving:
  • Pull over to a clear location away from buildings, trees, overpasses, and powerlines.
  • Stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
  • Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that may have been damaged.
When outdoors:
  • Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and powerlines, then drop, cover and hold on.
At the beach or near the coast:
  • Drop, cover and hold on, then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows.
Near mountains, hills, slopes or cliffs:
  • Be alert for falling debris or landslides.

If you need assistance from the SES, call 132 500. Monitor the Emergency Victoria website for more information about damage in your area.

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