TODAY’S earthquake, which struck Victoria at 9.15am, at a magnitude of 5.9, according to Geoscience Australia, is the largest in the state’s history.
The most destructive Victorian earthquakes to date were the two near Warrnambool in April and July 1903. By good fortune no lives were lost, as there was significant damage to unreinforced masonry buildings. Foundation failure (lateral spreading) and liquefaction led to the disturbance of tombstones in the local cemetery.
The two earthquakes were obviously shallow and close to the city but relatively small at magnitudes 4.9 and 5.3. These events were a classic doublet with few if any foreshocks or aftershocks.
Other known similar-sized earthquakes in Victoria to the larger of the 1903 Warrnambool doublet (magnitude 5.3) were at Mt Hotham in 1966 magnitude 5.5, Cape Otway 1960 and 1965 magnitude 5.3, and Gippsland in 1969 magnitude 5.3.
No large (magnitude 6 or above) earthquakes have occurred in Victoria since European settlement in the early 1800s.
So, today’s earthquake, upgraded to 5.9 magnitude, is believed to be the strongest in recorded history.
Authorities said the quake struck on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 9:15 with a magnitude: 5.9 at a depth: 2.0km, at the official epicentre of latitude/longitude: 37.48 S / 146.33 E near Mansfield, Victoria.
Nearby towns and cities: 38 km (24 mi) SSW of Mount Buller, 52 km (32 mi) SSE of Mansfield, 82 km (51 mi) NNW of Traralgon, 83 km (52 mi) NNE of Warragul, 84 km (52 mi) NNE of Drouin, 100 km (62 mi) NE of Pakenham.
A number of aftershocks have occurred, including multiple aftershocks.
Aftershocks can continue to occur for some time after the main earthquake.
But so far, there have been no reports of damage locally.
Here are a few Facebook posts from locals who felt the quake.
- Virginia Branton-Hunt: Felt it hard in Bena. We dived under our solid built 1980s desk!!! No injuries or damage.
- Lynette McCarthy, Inverloch: I was in Western Sydney when the Newcastle earthquake hit and felt that one. This one was much stronger than that.
- Elizabeth Nauta: Nearly lost the Tv! Just got to it when it stopped! South Gippsland.
- Katrina Adkins: Still feels like we are rolling in Arawata ! Impressive , scary at the same time!
- Jan Curtin: Definitely felt it in Wonthaggi, everything was shaking here.
- John Smoo: That was massive Leongatha.
- Thelma Woods: A change from the virus! Something else to talk about.
- Kazza Pedretti: Yes Dumbalk North/Mardan.
- Frank Flynn: Cape Paterson was ROCKING.
- Terri Cue: Our house shook in Korumburra.
- Dina Drury: Inverloch rocked for 50 secs.
- Courtney Hanel: And Albury NSW as well I was talking to my mum on the phone.