By Renee Wood
During such unprecedented times with the pandemic, lockdowns and protests – Victorians have now added an earthquake to their already shaken up lives.
Geoscience Australia confirmed a 5.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 9.15am at the epicentre near Mansfield at a depth of approximately 10kms.
Yarra Ranges residents have reported feeling the quake, including Chum Creek resident Cameron Betts who was working at home.
“It sounded like rumbling and I thought it was the washing machine and then my wife said quick come here and we have some pretty big glass planes in our windows and they were just flexing like nothing else,” Cameron Betts said.
“My daughter was very scared, I don’t think her heart’s quite calmed down yet to be honest.”
Mr Betts also shared with Star Mail some incredible CCTV footage capturing his office shaking in Montrose.
“It’s amazing how much it actually shook, when I logged in and saw it I thought, wow that’s a lot bigger than I thought it was.”
It was also a strange birthday present to receive for one Ferntree Gully resident, Dianne Wood, who was at home with her family at the time of the event.
“You could hear like a little bit of a rumble first and it started to slowly get louder. As it got louder the house just began to shake and then the shaking slowly got worse and worse, and I thought this is a bit bigger than just a little one,” Dianne Wood said.
“It will forever be a memorable day in the years to come, I can always say that the earth moved on this day for me.”
A 4.0 (Mw) aftershock was also recorded 15 minutes after the initial event and Deputy Premier James Merlino has warned more aftershocks and tremors could be on the way for the South East.
“Geoscience has confirmed there is a possibility that we may receive further aftershocks and potential risk of further earthquakes, indeed more aftershocks could occur for weeks, if not months,” James Merlino said.
“This was quite a significant event, and quite scary for a lot of people so please take care, keep observing the EMV alerts and warnings that have been issued.”
Vic Emergency issued a warning at 10.46am stating, “If you are located in Victoria, you are in danger. Expect aftershocks, stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards. Avoid driving, except for emergencies.”
The warning advises Victorians to take care when cleaning up damaged items an check homes and chimneys for any damages.
Buildings were damaged closer to the CBD and in Mansfield but it’s believed there was no significant building damage in the Yarra Ranges or Knox area.
Vic Emergency will be issuing another update this afternoon and has provided the below advice in it’s emergency warning if more earthquakes or aftershocks occur:
If you become trapped under debris:
Do not use lighters or matches to create light.
Stay as still as possible and cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Shout only as a last resort.
If aftershocks occur, stay safe by taking the following actions.
Drop, cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture and hold on.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
In an elevator:
Drop, cover and hold on.
When the shaking stops, try to get out at the nearest floor if you can safely do so.
Pull over to a clear location away from buildings, trees, overpasses, and powerlines.
Stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that may have been damaged.
Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and powerlines, then drop, cover and hold on.
At the beach or near the coast:
Drop, cover and hold on, then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows.
Near mountains, hills, slopes or cliffs:
Be alert for falling debris or landslides.
You should stay informed by listening to emergency broadcasters and monitoring warnings.
For earthquake related emergency assistance from the SES phone 132 500.
Only call Triple Zero (000) in a life threatening emergency.
Impacts in your area:
The earthquake may have resulted in:
Building damage in the North East parts of Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne.
There are no reports of building damage in other parts of the state
Dangerous road conditions
Power and telephone services have been lost in some areas.