A 5.9 earthquake struck Wednesday in southern Australia


An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck near Melbourne in southern Australia on Wednesday. Epicenter had been near Mansfield in the state of Victoria. Videos on social media showed at least one building suffered some minor damage and power lines disrupted in the central business district of Melbourne. People fled into the streets. Some apartment buildings were evacuated in central Melbourne, a city of 5 million. The temblor was felt as far away as Adelaide in South Australia, 800 kilometers (500 miles) away, and Sydney in New South Wales, more than 900 kilometers (600 miles) away. There was no tsunami threat.


An aftershock following the earthquake, measuring about 4.0 in magnitude, occurred less than half an hour after the initial shock. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking from the United States, where he met with President Biden to discuss a new security pact and submarine deal, said that the earthquake was “very disturbing.” Earthquakes are rare in Australia. The country’s worst earthquake ever was in 1988 in the Northern Territory, which measured only 6.6 magnitude, according to Geoscience Australia.