VICTORIA has experienced its largest earthquake since the 1800s, after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit the state on 22 September at 9.15am.

The epicentre of the earthquake has been identified at Mansfield and a number of aftershocks have occurred since the initial quake.

Seismologist at Geoscience Australia, Spiro Spiliopoulos, said the earthquake came out of the blue and there is no way to predict earthquakes yet.

“The earthquake was not related to climate change. Earthquakes are uncommon in Australia despite the area being relatively active,” Mr Spiliopoulos said.

“On average, Australia gets a 6.0-magnitude earthquake every 10 years,” he said.

Aftershocks are common in the days, weeks and months following an earthquake, however, like earthquakes, there is no way to predict the time it may happen.

Mr Spiliopoulos said the best way to stay safe during an earthquake is to drop, cover and hold on.

“To stay safe during an earthquake people should drop, cover and hold on to avoid having a building fall on them,” he said.

Geoscience Australia endeavours to find the exact epicentre to accurately report on aftershocks that may possibly occur in the coming days, weeks and months.

“We are going to try get instruments out to track aftershocks, and we have engineers that are interested in seeing the damage to buildings too,” Mr Spiliopoulos said.

For earthquake information phone, Geoscience Australia on 1800 655 739 or go to ga.gov.au/earthquakes/.

In case of an emergency, phone triple zero 000 or for earthquake-related emergency assistance from the SES phone 132 500.