Melbourne and regional Victoria rocked by 'earthquake'

Biggest earthquake in Victoria since ‘European settlement’ is felt as far away as Sydney and Tasmania – as buildings are damaged and frightened residents who ran for cover say it sounded like a ‘jet engine’

  • Magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked Melbourne and demolished parts of buildings
  • Epicentre of the quake was 10km deep near Mansfield in Victoria’s east at 9.15am
  • Pictures showed part of building collapsed on Prahran in Melbourne’s inner-city 

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has rocked Melbourne and demolished parts of buildings on famous Chapel St, with tremors felt as far as NSW and Tasmania. 

The epicentre of the quake was 10km deep near Mansfield in Victoria’s east at 9.15am on Wednesday morning, according to Geoscience Australia. 

The earthquake is the biggest Victoria has experienced since European settlement (1834) and there will be aftershocks, a seismologist told ABC Radio Melbourne. 

Pictures emerged of part of a building having collapsed on famous Chapel St in Prahran in Melbourne’s inner-city. 

Tremors were felt as far away as Tasmania and some parts of Sydney. 

Pictures have emerged of a building partially collapsed on Chapel St in Melbourne’s inner-city after a magnitude 6 earthquake

Office and apartment blocks across Melbourne have been evacuated but there are so far no reports of any injuries. 

Premier Daniel Andrews made the first official reaction to the earthquake, tweeting at 9.47am: ‘Yes, that was an earthquake’. 

A homeowner near Leongatha in South Gippsland who was in the bathroom when the earthquake hit said the sound outside was like a ‘jet engine’ and the glass shower screen was shaking.

‘I grabbed my granddaughter and held her tight,’ the woman said.

‘It was very frightening.’

‘The whole world just shook,’ another Victorian said.  

Resident Alice Murphy, who lives on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, three kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD, was working at her laptop when the tremors began.

‘For a second I thought it was a tram passing by or a huge gust of wind, but then the walls were shaking and the candles were bouncing off the mantlepiece,’ she said.

‘It lasted about 20 seconds and then everyone spilled out onto the street to make sure they hadn’t imagined it!’

The epicentre of the quake was in Mansfield in eastern Victoria but the shockwaves were felt as far south as Tasmania and as far north as NSW

Melbourne residents walk past debris in the city on Wednesday after the earthquake, pictured right a police car in Windsor in the inner-city in the quake’s aftermath

A woman named Elizabeth from eastern Melbourne was on a work call when the quake hit.

‘All the windows were shaking, I yelled at the kids to come and stand in a doorway but our eight-year-old ran outside to see if any sinkholes were opening up,’ she said.

‘Fortunately that didn’t happen.’

Social media users in Melbourne reacted with shock after the earthquake shook the Victorian capital

New Zealander Colin, who lives in Ferntree Gully in Melbourne, said the quake felt just as powerful as the magnitude 6.2 2011 Christchurch earthquake that caused widespread damage across the city and killed 185 people.

‘About 30 seconds it lasted. I didn’t know whether to run outside or upstairs,’ he told Newstalk ZB.

‘I’m in a solid concrete house, so it really shook. It shook as much as I’ve felt in Christchurch.’

More to come 

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