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Australia shaken by M5.9 earthquake, damage reported in Melbourne

Tuesday, September 21st 2021, 11:10 pm - The 5.9-magnitude earthquake reportedly damaged buildings in Melbourne, and was felt throughout neighbouring states.

Residents in Melbourne, Australia, are taking stock of the damage following a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the country Wednesday morning local time.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the tremor struck 38 kilometres south of Mount Buller, Australia, and 128.5 kilometres from Melbourne. It registered at a depth of 10 km.

Earthquake locator Australia

The earthquake reportedly damaged buildings in Melbourne, and was felt throughout neighbouring states.

Shortly after it struck, visuals of damaged buildings began circulating on social media. Many showed rubble blocking one of Melbourne's main streets, while people in the northern portion of the city said on social media they had lost power, while others stated they were evacuated from buildings.

The tremor, which was felt as far away as the city of Adelaide, was only the eighth with a magnitude greater than 5 that has struck that part of Australia since 1973, according to the USGS.

Wednesday's earthquake was stronger than the country's deadliest tremor, a 5.6 magnitude in Newcastle in 1989, which resulted in 13 deaths.

Reported by Reuters, Mark Holcombe, mayor of Mansfield, told ABC he was in his home office on his farm when the earthquake hit, immediately running outside for safety.

"I have been in earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to go on longer than I have experienced before," Holcombe said. "The other thing that surprised me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumbling like a big truck going past."

The tremor didn't create a tsunami threat to Australia's mainland, islands or territories, the Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.

There were no immediate reports of damage outside Melbourne and no reports of injuries.

With files from Reuters.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to The Weather Network for the latest updates on the earthquake.

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