A severe earthquake shook Southeast Australia on Wednesday morning, rocking houses, knocking down walls and sending frightened residents into the streets of Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city.
The 5.9-magnitude crash occurred at about 9:15 am (23:15 GMT Tuesday) near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 180 km (112 miles) northeast of Melbourne, Geoscience Australia said.
The quake, one of the largest in the country, was 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep. Hundreds of earthquakes, 4.0 magnitude.
Emergency operations affected homes in Melbourne, and more than 1,000 homes in the area were powerless.
Garbage littered the streets in many shopping malls near Melbourne’s Chapel Street, bricks seemingly blowing out of the house.
Zume Phim, 33, who owns an Oppen store in the area, said he ran into the street after the quake.
“The whole house was shaken. All the windows, the glass, were shaking – like a shaking wave, “he told AFP.
“I have never seen anything like it before. It was a little scary. ”
Kim Hong, who was in the kitchen of a bakery on the street after the quake, also ran outside.
“The kitchen, where I was cooking, was shaking,” he told the Age newspaper. “Oil was coming from burning food. I thought my kitchen was going to explode.”
The quake was heard as far as Adelaide, 800km (500 miles) west of South Australia, and Sydney, 900 km (600 miles) north of New South Wales, although there were no reports of damage outside Melbourne and no reports of injuries.
More than half of Australia’s 25 million people live in the southeast of the country, from Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney, but the area is in the middle of the Indo-Australia Tectonic Plate, and earthquakes are rare.
“We have never had any reports of serious injuries, or serious injuries, and this is very good news and we hope the good news will continue,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during an official visit to Washington, DC, told reporters.
“It could be a very dangerous earthquake. It is not uncommon in Australia and as a result, I am sure people would be upset and confused. ”
Wednesday’s quake was more significant than the country’s most devastating earthquake, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Newcastle in 1989, in which 13 people died.
This was “the biggest event in southeastern Australia in a long time,” Mike Sandiford, a geologist at the University of Melbourne, told AFP.
“We had some very big ones when they reached six in the late 19th century, although the size is not exactly known.”
A major earthquake like this is expected “every 10-20 years in southeastern Australia, the last one was Thorpdale in 2012,” he added. “That’s a lot bigger.”
Mansfield mayor Mark Holcombe said he was in his office at their home when the quake hit and ran outside for safety.
Holcombe told Australia Broadcasting Corp: “I’ve had earthquakes outside of the world and it seems to be going on for more years than ever before.” Another thing that surprised me was how loud it sounded. There was a lot of crying as a big car passed by. ”
Little did they know of the devastating damage near the quake’s epicenter, although some people have a problem with telephones.
No tsunami alert was issued in Australia, the islands or parts of Australia, says the Bureau of Meteorology.