Melbourne has reportedly experienced up to a 5.8 magnitude earthquake after the epicentre struck the Gippsland region.
Victoria reportedly experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake at 9:20am AEST on Wednesday morning, with residents reporting shaking of varying intensity across the city for an approximate 20 second period.
The initial magnitude and epicentre location was reported by the Australian Seismology Centre on Twitter, although the magnitude has since been revised upwards by the United States Geological Survey, a government seismology centre.
What you need to know
- Victoria has experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake
- The epicentre is in the Gippsland region, where Victoria’s last earthquake took place
- The earthquake lasted around 20 seconds from 9:20am on Wednesday morning
Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.
“We’ve had a magnitude 5.3 preliminary magnitude in Gippsland, it’s been felt all across Melbourne,” Seismology Australia said.
“The epicentre is north of Wood’s Point, near Licola North. That’s about 100 kilometres or so to the east of Melbourne.
“That magnitude has been felt all across, it shook in Melbourne for about 20 seconds or so.”
While earthquakes in Victoria are rare, the state has experienced earthquakes – usually ranging from 4.5 to 6 on the richter scale – periodically since records were kept in the early 1900s.
The last earthquake to hit Victoria was in a similar area of Gippsland in 2012, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.
There is a significant difference in intensity and damage potential between a 5.3 and 5.8 magnitude earthquake.
According to the richter intensity scale, there are estimated to be over 500,000 earthquakes up to a 5.3 magnitude each year across the world, however only 350 from 5.5 to 6 in magnitude.
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Newcastle in 1989 killed 13 people and caused over $4 billion worth of damage.
While up to a 5.4 magnitude earthquake is considered “often felt, but only causes minor damage” an earthquake over 5.5 can cause “slight damage to buildings and other structures” according to the scale.
For more information, head to Geosciences Australia’s website here.