An earthquake centred in regional Victoria has been felt across neighbouring south-east states on Wednesday morning.
Geoscience Australia recorded a magnitude-5.8 earthquake near Mansfield around 9.15am, and nearby a magnitude-4.0 earthquake about 20 minutes later and a magnitude-3.1 earthquake at 9.54am.
The quake was felt in Melbourne, Canberra, parts of NSW, in Adelaide and Launceston in Tasmania.
Geoscience Australia recorded the earthquake as having a depth of 10 kilometres. The agency’s website showed error messages immediately after the quake.
Victorian deputy Premier James Merlino said on Wednesday morning there had been 46 reports of building damage and no reports of injuries.
“Geoscience has confirmed there is a possibility we will receive potential aftershocks,” Merlino said. “Aftershocks could occur for weeks if not months.”
Incident control centres were set up in Dandenong, Mansfield and Benalla and Emergency Management Victoria issued a warning message for the state.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking from Washington DC, said he had been in contact with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, and emergency management minister Bridget Mckenzie.
“At this stage we have had no reports of serious injuries or worse, that is very good news and we hope that good news will continue but obviously we will get further reports as the night unfolds here in the United States,” he said.
“It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this nature. They are very rare events in Australia. As a result I am sure people would have been quite distressed and disturbed by that particularly in the most immediate area effected.”
He said the Victorian government would provide the first response.
“The agencies at a state government level are there responding and of course the federal government will provide the support that is necessary,” Morrison said.
Footage on social media showed fallen bricks strewn across a street off Melbourne’s Chapel Street, as well as some buildings in central Melbourne being evacuated.
A resident of Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula told ABC Radio Melbourne that the earthquake caused his house to shake.
“The whole thing just rock and rolled and the water in the swimming pool went sloshing backwards and forwards,” he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology reported there was no tsunami warning for Australia following the earthquake.