Victoria rattled by magnitude 5 earthquake

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A magnitude 5.0 earthquake near Colac has rattled parts of Melbourne in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Geoscience Australia reported the epicentre of the quake in the Cape Otway regions, 150 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, at an estimated depth of 7 km.

Melbourne city skyline from Merri Creek Reserve, Northcote. The Sunday morning earthquake was felt from Sunshine in Melbourne’s west, to St Kilda, and Reservoir in the north.Credit: Joe Armao

The quake struck about 2 am on Sunday with about 5000 people reporting they felt the quake as far as Sunshine in Melbourne’s west, St Kilda, and Reservoir.

There have been a couple of calls to VICSES on 132-500 for emergency assistance but only minor damage reported and no injuries.

An aftershock of 3.5 magnitude was felt at 5:44 am in Apollo Bay.

Chief scientist at the Seismology Research Centre Adam Pascale was woken by the quake.

“It was a very short one only about a second or two compared to the other earthquakes Melbourne has had in the past year or two,” Pascale said.

“There will not be any damage, it would have to be reasonably close for that to happen,” he said.

The earthquake is the largest recorded in Victoria since the September 2021 Woods Point earthquake.

Victorians rushed to X (Twitter) to report feeling the quake, or being woken by the tremor.

Some users also noted the prevalence of earthquakes in Victoria and Melbourne this year.

However, Pascale said the number of earthquakes in the state are no cause for concern.

“People are noticing them more and we are getting more earthquakes felt by people, we aren’t seeing more activity, ” he said.

“A few more earthquakes are being felt because they are close to the population.”

Aftershocks are still to be expected for some time and felt in the Cape Otway region said Pascale.

“For an earthquake of this magnitude we expect more aftershocks,” he said. “Most of the aftershocks will go unnoticed.”

Pascale urged residents to become familiar with preparing for a large earthquake, if it should happen.

“People need to know what do: drop, cover and hold on.”

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