Victoria hit by Three earthquakes
Victoria has rocked by three earthquakes this morning (22) with tremors felt across the state, New South Wales, Canberra and as far as Adelaide and Launceston.
The Bureau of Meteorology says there is no tsunami threat to Australia.
The State Emergency Service has received reports of building damage across Melbourne and more than 1000 homes across the state are without power, about 170 of them around the Melbourne suburb of Windsor.
Geoscience Australia said there was a magnitude 6 later downgraded to magnitude 5.8 earthquake that was 10km deep occurred with an epicentre near Mansfield in Victoria. Mansfield is a small town in the foothills of the Victorian Alps. It is about 180km north-east of Melbourne by road.
According to Geoscience Australia the first quake was at 9.15am local time, and the second at 9.33am.
A smaller tremor (4.0 magnitude at a depth of 12 kilometres) was recorded about 15 minutes later, and a third (3.1 magnitude at six kilometres) hit at 9.54am.
Fortunately the 5.8 magnitude earthquake does not appear to have damaged the underground gold mines at Woods Point, which was just a few kilometres from the epicentre.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in Washington for high level regional security talks, said the federal government would provide the “necessary support” for Victoria.
“They are very rare events in Australia and, as a result, I’m sure people would have been quite distressed and disturbed by that, especially in the immediate area affected,”
“I’m pleased that reports so far that I've received are not of serious injuries and things of that nature. That’s very welcome news,” he said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian extended her sympathies to affected Victorians.
“Our thoughts are with everybody who's been impacted by that earthquake in Victoria, and we know that people in NSW have even felt the tremors,” she said.
“So our thoughts of everybody and we’ve had everybody stay safe and accountable during this very difficult time.”
Seismologists have warned that aftershocks are likely already occurring and there is a small likelihood that there could be a larger event today.
Citing experts, Victorian deputy premier James Merlino said it’s possible that aftershocks could continue for months.
“Geoscience have confirmed there is a possibility that we may receive further aftershocks and potential risk of further earthquakes,” he said in a press conference. “Indeed, more aftershocks could occur for weeks, if not months.”