News.com.au (Link) (March 7, 2009)
The earth tremor that rocked the centre of Melbourne was one of three quakes that hit Australia in the one day, a seismologist says. Melbourne residents reported buildings shaking across the metropolitan area when a tremor struck at 8.55pm (AEDT) last night.
Geoscience Australia, which monitors earthquake activity, said the tremor measured magnitude 4.6 on the Richter scale, with the epicentre at Korumburra, about 90km southeast of Melbourne. The US Geological Survey reported on its website the tremor measured 4.7.
Geoscience Australia's duty seismologist Phil Cummins said residents across a wide area felt the Melbourne tremor - one of three quakes to hit Australian that day. "There were many reports from across a wide area - this was felt across a 100km radius," he told AAP yesterday. "It was certainly a moderate earthquake that was likely to be felt across a wide area but is unlikely to have caused any damage, except possibly some minor damage near the epicentre."
He said tremors were also felt near Broome in WA and near Beacon in WA's wheatbelt. "Those were both close to magnitude five," he told ABC radio today. "They occurred in remote areas so they were felt by far fewer people than this (the Melbourne) one. "But it is quite remarkable that we get three of roughly the same size in the one day."
Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) spokesman Allen Briggs said the service was inundated with phone calls from the public after the Melbourne tremor but there had been no reports of any damage. "It was certainly enough to rattle windows and we've had reports it was felt in metropolitan Melbourne and as far down as Warragul and Leongatha in Gippsland," Mr Briggs said yesterday.
Ron Smith, who lives in Kew, in Melbourne's inner northeast, said he was relaxing at home when he felt the building shake. "Jeez, it came as a bit of a surprise. We were just sitting around when all of a sudden the place starts vibrating," he said.
Residents in Reservoir, in Melbourne's north, and householders in the Dandenong Ranges east of the city, reported feeling the tremor shortly before 9pm. "It felt like a large truck driving past the house," Charisse Ede, of Monbulk, said, adding she felt a second, smaller tremor a few minutes later.
A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the incident had also been reported to the police but she advised members of the public to only dial triple-0 in an emergency situation.