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South-east Australia rattled by strong earthquake

earth tremor
Earth Tremor

An earthquake that struck Australia’s Victoria on Wednesday morning reportedly rattled residents across the south-east.

The magnitude-6.0 quake struck near Mansfield, some 200 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, according to the Victoria State Emergency Service.

There were widespread reports the quake and aftershocks were felt, the service said.

Government earthquake reporting agency Geoscience Australia reported a first 6.0-magnitude quake struck at 2315 GMT, followed by a magnitude-4.0 some 15 minutes later.

The US Geological Service recorded the first quake as a magnitude-5.8 and said this is only the eighth earthquake that registered over magnitude 5 in the region since 1973.

There is no tsunami threat, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said.

Tremors were reportedly felt in Melbourne and the national capital Canberra as well as in Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales.

Local media and social media users mainly reported feeling buildings shake and objects falling from tables and shelves.

Fire and Rescue services in New South Wales said it had dispatched crews after reports of tremors being felt across the state, but no structural damage had been reported so far.

Several local news reporters tweeted videos and pictures of damage to buildings in Melbourne, and broadcaster ABC shared video of tremors during its breakfast news show causing visible shaking.

The footage shows presenter Michael Rowland stop talking mid-sentence before saying “that was a big one” and advising the staff leave the building.

It was the largest on-land earthquake in Australia since 1997, according to New Zealand-based GeoNet. The monitoring service added that quakes are relatively uncommon in Australia, unlike in neighbouring New Zealand.

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