Published on : Wednesday, September 22, 2021
On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, a powerful magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Melbourne as per Geoscience Australia. Considered to be one of the biggest recorded quakes in the country, it has reportedly caused damage to buildings in the country’s second largest city and sent tremors throughout neighbouring states.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 200 km (124 miles) northeast of Melbourne, at a depth of 10 km (six miles). The main quake was followed by a 4.0 magnitude aftershock.
As per photo updates and video footage on social media, the quake left rubble blocking one of Melbourne’s main streets, while people in northern parts of the city lost power connection. Many individuals were also evacuated from buildings.
The quake was felt as far away as the city of Adelaide, 800 km (500 miles) to the west in the state of South Australia, and Sydney, 900 km (600 miles) to the north in New South Wales State. However, there were no reports of damage outside Melbourne and no reports of injuries. More than half of Australia’s 25 million population lives in the southeast of the country from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney.
Quakes are relatively unusual in Melbourne due to its position in the middle of the Indo-Australian Tectonic Plate, according to Geoscience Australia. The quake on Wednesday measured higher than the country’s deadliest tremor, a 5.6 in Newcastle in 1989, which resulted in 13 deaths.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that there are no reports of serious injuries, or worse, and it is very good news. He mentioned that he is hopeful that good news will continue. He shared that an earthquake of this nature can be a very disturbing event. He mentioned that such disasters are very rare events in Australia and hence people would have been quite distressed and disturbed.
The Mayor of Mansfield, Mark Holcombe, he was in his home office on his farm when the quake struck and ran outside for safety. He added that he had witnessed earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to go on longer than he has experienced before. He also mentioned that the noisy nature of the quake left him surprised and shared that it was a real rumbling like a big truck going past.
He knew of no serious damage near the quake epicentre although some residents reported problems with telecommunications. No tsunami threat was 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.