A massive 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Wednesday morning near Melbourne, South Australia’s second largest city, sending panicked residents into the streets to seek safety. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Mansfield in Victoria.
Videos on social media showed that a building suffered minor damage and power lines were cut in Melbourne’s central business district. Melbourne residents described their shock and surprise when houses in the city began to shake and the tremors were felt hundreds of miles away.
Earthquakes are not common in Melbourne. The city has not witnessed an earthquake of a similar magnitude in decades. No injuries have been reported so far. The US Geological Survey put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.8, later revised to 5.9, and said it struck to a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles).
Debris littered the streets of the popular shopping district around Chapel Street in Melbourne, with bricks, apparently detached from the buildings. At a magnitude of around just under six, it was “the biggest event in Southeast Australia in a long time,” Mike Sandiford, a geologist at the University of Australia, told a news agency. Melbourne.
Geosciences Australia said a 4.0 aftershock struck shortly after the initial tremor. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking from New York, said there were no initial reports of injuries.