Man Injured in Australian Earthquake

September 22, 2021 Updated: September 22, 2021

A man was injured while performing building work during Victoria’s largest earthquake in history, as emergency services warn there may be more aftershocks.

The magnitude 5.9 quake hit about 9.15 a.m. on Wednesday, with the epicentre between Mansfield and Rawson in the state’s northeast.

The 10km deep earthquake – the biggest in the state since records began – was felt across Melbourne and as far away as Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide.

Initially, there were no reports of injuries, however, State Emergency Service chief officer Tim Wiebusch said on Thursday a man in Mount Eliza suffered minor injuries.

“A man that was working on a repair of a construction and that, in the shaking, moved and came on top of him,” he told the Seven network.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said is relieved the earthquake did not cause as much damage.

“Obviously, we need to remain cautious because of the threat of aftershocks, but it’s pleasing to know that what was first feared was not realised, particularly in relation to any reports of serious injury,” he told reporters in Washington.

At least eight aftershocks have been registered between 2.4 and 4.1 on the Richter scale, and further tremors are expected in the coming days, and possibly months.

“We are asking people to know what to do: drop, cover and hold is the key message,” Wiebusch said on Wednesday.

There were more than 100 calls for assistance after the initial earthquake, with 55 of those in metropolitan Melbourne.

Most were for minor structural damage to chimneys, facades and older buildings.

Wiebusch has urged anyone who discovers building damage to contact a licensed builder or technician, with emergency repairs still allowed under COVID-19 restrictions.

Some building damage has emerged in metropolitan Melbourne and areas near Mansfield, with Beechworth hospital losing power and one of the crosses at St Patrick’s Church in Wangaratta falling down.

Among the city structures damaged was the facade of a Brunswick Street building in Fitzroy and the exterior of Betty’s Burgers on Chapel Street in Windsor.

No one was inside the restaurant when the earthquake hit, and managing director Troy McDonagh told AAP he expects the business won’t be able to reopen for months.

Insurer Allianz had received 70 claims as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, mostly for minor cracking but some for “extensive damage”.

The earthquake was originally recorded as a magnitude six, but later revised to 5.8 and then 5.9 on the Richter scale.