SYDNEY/MELBOURNE – An earthquake of magnitude 6 struck near Melbourne in Australia on Wednesday (Sept 22), Geoscience Australia said, causing damage to buildings in the country’s second largest city and sending tremors throughout neighbouring states.
The quake’s epicentre was near the rural town of Mansfield, about 200 km northeast of Melbourne, and was at a depth of 10 km. An aftershock was rated four.
Images and video footage circulating on social media showed rubble blocking one of Melbourne’s main streets, while people in northern parts of the city said on social media they had lost power and others said they were evacuated from buildings.
The mayor of Mansfield, Mark Holcombe, said he was in his home office on his farm when the quake struck and ran outside for safety.
“I have been in earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to go on longer than I have experienced before,” Holcombe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “The other thing that surprised me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumbling like a big truck going past.”
He said he knew of no serious damage near the quake epicentre, although some residents reported problems with telecommunications.
No tsunami threat has been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or territories, the country’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.
The quake presented a potential disruption for anti-lockdown protests expected in Melbourne on Wednesday, which would be the third day of unrest that has reached increasing levels of violence and police response.
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