Rare earthquake hits Melbourne, Australia, but causes little damage; is the largest for 120 years

(CNN) — Melbourne was rocked by a rare, shallow earthquake on Sunday, the biggest quake to hit the Australian city in over a century, which shook buildings but ultimately caused very little damage.

Preliminary information indicated that the 3.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the north-west suburb of Sunbury at 11:41 p.m. local time at a depth of 2 kilometers, according to the government agency Geoscience Australia.

Adam Pascale, chief scientist at the Seismological Research Center in Victoria, said the earthquake it was the largest within 40 kilometers of Melbourne since a magnitude 4.5 earthquake in 1902.

“I’m waking up! Probably 5-10 seconds of minor shaking. The adrenaline hasn’t worn off yet…” Pascale tweeted.

Geoscience Australia said it had received more than 21,000 reports of the earthquake, with shock waves being felt as far away as the town of Bendigo, around 150 kilometers north of Melbourne, and as far south as Hobart on the island of Tasmania.

In April, Melbourne overtook Sydney to become Australia’s most populous city, and many of the city’s 5.8 million people woke up on Monday with a story to tell.

“I felt like a plane had crashed next to my house or something,” one resident said, according to CNN affiliate 7News.

“I’m on the 70th floor of Eureka Tower and the whole building has swayed a few feet,” another Melbourne resident said on Twitter, referring to a downtown skyscraper, Sky News Australia reported. from CNN.

One person said he “ran out of the house with a machete” in his pajamas.

“Our old house looked like it had been broken into,” they added, according to Sky News Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Twitter that there was no threat of a tsunami from the quake, although emergency services warned of possible aftershocks in a statement on Facebook.

Most earthquakes occur in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the world’s most active volcanoes are located and where tremors occur when tectonic plates push against each other.

Earthquakes are not as common in Australia, although the continent experiences seismic activity due to the movement of tectonic plates.

In 2021, Victoria suffered a magnitude 5.9 earthquake which caused minor structural damage to Melbourne although it occurred nearly 200 kilometers away.

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