The quake hit around 9:15am local time on Wednesday and was recorded at a magnitude of 6 by Australia’s Geoscience agency, which noted there is currently no tsunami threat to the region.
Photos and videos have emerged on social media purporting to show the aftermath of the earthquake, which appeared to damage some buildings in Melbourne, whose streets were seen strewn with rubble.
A local news broadcast was interrupted by the quake, with shaking visible in the footage as staff cleared out of the studio and one of the presenters is heard noting “that was a big one.” Other videos showing residents caught off guard by the jolt also made the rounds.
While the extent of the damage from Wednesday’s quake remains unclear, it was reportedly among the largest to hit on land in Australia in decades, rivaling a 2016 seism in the Petermann mountain range, which fortunately occurred in a sparsely populated region, avoiding catastrophic damage that could have resulted had it struck elsewhere. The largest quake ever recorded in the country came in 1988 – a 6.6 magnitude jolt that also hit a largely unpopulated area, though it did inflict damage to a major gas line.
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