FEARS are growing that Melbourne could be rocked by an even BIGGER earthquake after the city was hit by a massive 6.0 shaker this morning.
Building were destroyed by the seismic shift with tremors being felt across Victoria, Canberra and even in parts of Sydney.
Now experts are warning that an even “larger event” could hit the region and that “aftershocks” are already happening.
Adam Pascale, of the Seismology Research Centre, told ABC: “There is a small likelihood that there could be a larger event but we’ll see as we go.
“The aftershocks are likely already occurring.”
Pictures of rubbles on the street in Melbourne were posted online by a local radio station with locals saying they had lost power in the northern part of the city.
Victoria’s State Emergency Service warned locals of possible aftershocks.
A statement said: “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.”
It was the largest earthquake to hit Australia since a 6.5 shaker rocked Perth in 1968.
Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said six aftershocks have been recorded with magnitudes of up to 4.1 and even further tremors could hit populated areas in the coming weeks.
He said: “We will likely see more aftershocks for weeks or even months.
“They say it’s unlikely we will see anything that will equal or exceed what we saw at 9.15am this morning but there is a chance of significant aftershocks impacting Victoria.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “we have had no reports of serious injuries” following the earthquake which happened at Mansfield, close to the city, at 9.15am local time today.
PM Morrison said that while quakes were rare in the country they “can be a very, very disturbing event”.
Thankfully, most buildings in Melbourne only suffered minor structural damage, officials said.
The two buildings wrecked on the city’s Chapel Street – which included a restaurant – were the only signifiant reports of damage caused by the quake.
No one was inside the restaurant when the shaker hit, managing director Troy McDonagh said.
BIGGEST QUAKE IN 50 YEARS
He said: “We’re out for months, it’s structural, it looks like the top’s come away, we need to get engineers in to assess it and then the works will need to be completed.”
The shallow earthquake rattled Australia’s south east just and was felt hundreds of kilometres away, including Adelaide and Launceston in Tasmania, reported ABC News.
The quake’s epicentre was close to the rural town of Mansfield, about 124 miles northeast of Melbourne, and struck at a depth of six miles.
Locals near the epicentre said the sound of the earthquake hitting was like a freight train or a passenger plane passing overhead.
Mansfield residents claimed their houses shifted with paintings falling off the walls and fish jumping out of the water.
One driver thought she’d hit a small animal before realising the impact was caused by the ground moving below her.
A local woman Margot Trellu said: “Most people rushing out of shops.
“Lasted about 10-15 seconds. Friends of mine said livestock were all going crazy.
“Very scary for many people as we don’t get earthquakes here.”
No tsunami threat has been issued to the Australian mainland, islands or territories, the country’s Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.
New Zealand’s earthquake monitor Geonet said the “magnitude 6.0 earthquake detected in Victoria constitutes largest earthquake on land in Australia since 1997”.
In Victoria, a calm Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted: “Yes, that was an earthquake.”
Victoria State Emergency Service said there had been “widespread [quake] felt reports. There is no tsunami threat.”
In Adelaide, the main hospital building was briefly evacuated due to shaking felt at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woodville.
Staff were also evacuated from Bendigo Hospital in Bendigo, Victoria and Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.
Workers ran outside businesses in Wagga Wagga as the “ground was shaking violently”, reported one man.
Some residents took to social media to double-check they hadn’t imagined the shaking.
It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this nature
Scott MorrisonPrime minister
Elsewhere on Twitter there were photos showing grocery items scattered across the floor in supermarkets after being tossed from shelves.
There was also a sense of drama on live TV news shows, when cameras and tables starting shaking as presenters were rocked on air.
One social media user tweeted: “Okay, that was scary… I’ve felt little shakes before, this was the biggest I’ve ever felt.”
Another user tweeted: “Felt it in Thredbo NSW! I didn’t know we got earthquakes like that in Australia.”
They added: “It was very confusing. I thought it might have been an avalanche/landslide.”
Sophie T added on Twitter that the “whole apartment building was swaying in Zetland, Sydney. We thought we were dizzy at first!”
According to Melbourne locals, it “went on for a good ten seconds and knocked stuff off the shelf”.
Charlotte March joked: “Plague, riots, earthquake… I really underestimated 2021 on my bingo card.”
Geoscience Australia reported there were three earthquakes within an hour south of Mansfield in Victoria – ranging in magnitude from 3.1 to 6.0.
FEARS are growing that Melbourne could be rocked by an even BIGGER earthquake after the city was hit by a massive 6.0 shaker this morning. Building were destroyed by the seismic shift with tremors being felt across Victoria, Canberra and even in parts of Sydney. Now experts are warning that an even “larger event” could […]