Melbourne earthquake: Tremor rattles southeast Australia

Melbourne's popular Chapel St shopping precinct was among areas damaged. Photo Courtesy: EPA via BBC

(BBC): A 5.8 magnitude earthquake has rattled southeast Australia, damaging buildings in the city of Melbourne.

The earthquake happened about 09:15 local time (00:15 GMT) on Wednesday at Mansfield, not far from the Victorian state capital.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “we have had no reports of serious injuries and that is very good news”.

The earthquake was also felt in neighboring South Australia and New South Wales (NSW).

It was followed by two aftershocks of 4.0 and 3.1 magnitudes.

While this is one of Australia’s largest earthquakes in recent years, it does not appear to have caused significant damage.

Speaking from the US, Morrison noted earthquakes were uncommon in Australia and “it can be the very, very disturbing event”.

Victoria’s State Emergency Service warned residents to be alert for possible aftershocks.

“If you are located in Victoria, you are in danger. Expect aftershocks, stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards. Avoid driving, except for emergencies,” the authority said.