Big earthquake shakes Australia’s east coast

Brianna Dugan & Troy de RuyterThe West Australian
VideoAn magnitude 6 earthquake stuck Victoria on Wednesday morning with tremors felt as far away as Canberra and Sydney

The Eastern States has been hit by a massive earthquake, with Melbourne feeling the brunt of the tremors.

The magnitude 5.8 quake struck about 7.15am WA time, with Geoscience Australia reporting that it was felt in Melbourne, regional Victoria, Canberra and New South Wales.

Several buildings have been reported damaged after the tremors, including a shop front that collapsed in Chapel Street in Windsor in Melbourne.

Hundreds of bricks covered the empty road of a locked down Melbourne and a cloud of dust filled the air.

The shop is the home of popular burger bar Betty’s Burgers.

Police are at the scene diverting pedestrians away from the area, with a fallen powerline causing concern.

One Melbourne resident said he was sitting at work in Campbellfield just outside the CBD when his desk started to shake.

The magnitude 5.8 earthquake was felt across the east coast.
Camera IconThe magnitude 5.8 earthquake was felt across the east coast. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A woman checks out the damage.
Camera IconA woman checks out the damage. Credit: Twitter/Twitter
Emergency services on the scene.
Camera IconEmergency services on the scene. Credit: Twitter/Twitter

“I was sitting down working on my computer when everything started to shake, my work PA system started going off and we were told to ‘evacuate now, this is not a drill’,” he said.

“People started to kind of panic and walked to the door wondering where the muster point was. It was really crazy.”

Victorians took to social media sharing their shock over the tremors.

One man posted on Twitter a video of his apartment building shaking and windows rattling as the earthquake started.

The damage in Melbourne.
Camera IconThe damage in Melbourne. Credit: Twitter/Twitter
The damaged facade of the Betty’s Burgers building.
Camera IconThe damaged facade of the Betty’s Burgers building. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Tremors were felt for about 30 seconds before they stopped.

A civil designer working from home in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburb of Rosanna described the moment his house was hit by the quake.

“It sounded like a truck going down the street but then it intensified,” he said.

“It was crazy. I thought the second level of this house was going to fall off. My computer monitors almost fell off the walls.

“It’s definitely a surreal feeling. You’re used to the ground below you being your safe zone, but when that’s moving beneath you it’s very weird.

“The whole thing lasted at least 20 seconds.”

People look on at the damage in Chapel Street in Melbourne.
Camera IconPeople look on at the damage in Chapel Street in Melbourne. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
A cordoned off Chapel Street.
Camera IconA cordoned off Chapel Street. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

There are reports that the quake was Australia’s biggest since 1997 when a 6.3 hit north-west WA.

A second shock was reported close to the Mansfield epicentre about 15 minutes after the first tremor.

The second earthquake was reported at a magnitude of 4.

Both quakes occured at a depth of 10km, according to the Geoscience Australia website.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in the US meeting with President Joe Biden, said the earthquake was a “very disturbing event” for those caught up in it.

“I have been in contact with (Victorian) Premier (Daniel) Andrews, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister ... and we will continue to receive reports throughout the night,” he said.

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