Rare Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Strikes Australia’s Victoria, Tremors Felt Widely

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
September 21, 2021 Updated: September 22, 2021

Australians have taken to social media to report they felt a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, revised down from the 6.0 initially reported, which struck in regional Victoria at around 9.15 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning.

Houses and apartments shook, with videos and photos emerging on social media showing buildings damaged in the state’s capital, Melbourne.

One video showed the brick facade and part of the roof of a building that housed Betty’s Burgers that had crumbled onto Chapel Street in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor, while another showed a live news broadcast from a studio being disrupted by the tremors.

No one was inside Betty’s Burgers, but a tenant was upstairs in the same building when the earthquake hit, restaurant managing director Troy McDonagh told AAP.

“We’re out for months, it’s structural. It looks like the top’s come away. We need to get engineers in to assess it and then the works will need to be completed,” he said.

Geoscience Australia reported the quake’s epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) near Mansfield, about 200 kilometres (131 miles) northeast of Melbourne. A magnitude 4.0 aftershock was reported about 15 minutes later in the same location.

Lynne Myers of High County Apparel in Mansfield said “it just scared the hell out of us.”

“Everything shook. The roof shook, boots fell off the shelf, and I just ran outside,” she said.

“There’s no cracks or anything in the walls. We seem to have got over it pretty well. Everyone’s a bit shaken up here, but there doesn’t seem to be any damage.

“I’ve lived here 29 years and have never felt anything like it.”

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology said there was no tsunami threat from the quake.

Victoria’s State Emergency Service said they were receiving calls for assistance from across the state and were yet to make an assessment of any damage.

So far, most of the damage has been reported in Melbourne, in the suburbs of Prahran, Brunswick, West Melbourne, and Albert Park.

But Craig Luelf from the All Seasons Mansfield resort said he felt the ground moving and that it was “quite scary.”

“At first, I thought the car was having a few issues and then realised all of a sudden that everything was moving,” he said.

“My father’s neighbour is at the top of a hill and he could see the waves of the ground moving up the hill.”

Tremors were felt from as far away as the New South Wales central coast, some 1,000 kilometres away. They were also felt in Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, and Launceston in Tasmania to the south.

Building movement was reported in Sydney’s CBD, and people at home in some suburbs of Sydney took to social media to say they had felt the quake.

The ABC reported that apartment buildings in inner Melbourne were being evacuated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is currently in Washington D.C., said he had communicated by text with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews following the earthquake.

“It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this nature,” he told reporters.

“They are very rare events in Australia and as a result, I am sure people would have been quite depressed and disturbed by that, particularly in the most immediate area affected.”

AAP contributed to this report.

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au