Rare Australian earthquake triggers panic in Melbourne

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Rare Australian earthquake has triggered panic on the residents of Melbourne, the country’s second biggest city, by shaking buildings, knocking down walls.

The Geoscience Australia said, the magnitude 5.9 seism struck at about 9:15am on Tuesday, near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 180 km (112 miles) northeast of Melbourne.

One of the country’s biggest on record, was at a depth of 10 km (six miles). Hundreds of aftershocks were detected, with one measuring 4.0 magnitude.

Emergency services reported damage to buildings in Melbourne, and more than 1,000 homes across the state were without power.

Debris littered roads in the popular shopping area around Melbourne’s Chapel Street, with bricks apparently coming loose from buildings.

A 33 year old Zume Phim, owner of the Open cafe in the area, said he rushed onto the street when the earthquake hit.

“The whole building was shaking. All the windows, the glass, was shaking, like a wave of shaking.

“I have never experienced that before. It was a little bit scary.”

Emergency services respond to earthquake damage in the Melbourne suburb of Windsor.

Kim Hong, who was in the kitchen at one of the street’s bakeries when the quake hit, also rushed outside.

“The kitchen, when I was cooking, was wobbling.

“Oil was coming up from the fryer making a fire. I thought my kitchen was going to explode,”  Hong said.

The earthquake was felt as far away as the city of Adelaide, 800km (500 miles) to the west in the state of South Australia, and Sydney, 900 km (600 miles) to the north in New South Wales, although there were no reports of damage outside Melbourne and no reports of injuries.

READ ALSO: Haitians continue search for survivors from earthquake ruins

Kamila/Al-Jazeera

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