(Photo:) Holly McGuinness

Warnings of more aftershocks after ‘intense’ earthquake

By Hatch reporters: Belad Al-karkhey, Holly McGuinness and Thomas Hanway.

Aftershocks continue to be felt across Victoria with the state’s Deputy Premier James Merlino warning they could occur for weeks to come.

Geoscience Australia has confirmed to Hatch that a 5.8 magnitude quake was recorded at 9.15am today.

Within a couple of hours, more than 30,000 people had notified the government agency that they had felt tremors in towns across Victoria, parts of NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, where it registered a magnitude 2.6.

Hotel bookkeeper Sophie Broadley works in Mansfield, the town almost 200 kilometres north of Melbourne at the epicentre of the quake.

She said it lasted up to four minutes and was “intense”.

The epicentre of the quake near Mansfield, Victoria (Screenshot taken with the permission of Geoscience Australia)

Bentley Hon was evacuated from his Docklands apartment block. 

“I felt the floorboards shaking, the ceiling making some sounds and really felt the tremors,” he said.

“About 15 minutes after, I was told by the building manager to leave. There were a lot of people downstairs, [but] quite a few people [stayed] in their apartments [or on] the balconies, which was a bit concerning.”

Teresa McGuinness and her husband felt the tremor in Newport.

“We live on a train line and I thought a train was coming,” she said.

“We both looked at each other and there was no train coming, then the vibrations started to intensify and my husband was yelling “what the hell’s going on”. Then we realised it was an earthquake. 

“We quickly hurried to the front of the house and saw other people hurrying out of their houses at the same time.”

Mikaela Bianco of Narre Warren was in bed when the quake struck.

“I was rubbing my dog’s belly and then my photo frame fell down in my room and I was like ‘what the f…’, then everything started shaking and I was like ‘what the hell is that’.

“I ran to the front of the house [and] everyone started going out of their houses onto the street.

Images of damage have been shared across social media. Betty’s Burgers on Chapel Street is one of the 46 buildings, so far, to report damage.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in Washington for a meeting with US President Joe Biden, spoke to reporters after the quake. He has offered the Victorian Government assistance.

“We have had no reports of serious injuries, or worse, and that is very good news,” he said.

“We hope that good news will continue. It can be a very disturbing event.”

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews urged residents to contact the SES for help if needed and to keep an eye on emergency warnings.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre confirmed there was no threat to Australia.

Despite the tremor, protesters have taken to Melbourne’s streets for a second day to oppose mandatory vaccinations and the construction industry’s shutdown.

It is an ironic turn of events, not lost on Melbourne resident Michael Katilius.

“I just had a thought, who’s going to fix all this now the tradies aren’t working.”

Story: Belad Al-karkhey, Holly McGuinness and Thomas Hanway. Featured Image of Mark and Teresa McGuinness outside their Melbourne home, by Holly McGuinness.