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Melbourne earthquake felt by hundreds of people across the eastern suburbs

By Leonie Thorne, Wednesday July 29, 2020 - 23:14 EST
ABC licensed image
The magnitude 2.2 earthquake was recorded near Pakenham just after 7:00pm. - ABC licensed

Residents across Melbourne's east have reported feeling shaking and a loud blast after a small earthquake was recorded in the area.

Geoscience Australia confirmed there was a Magnitude 2.2 tremor at 7:08pm near Pakenham, about 60 kilometres south-east of the CBD.

Hundreds of people across the eastern suburbs, from Nar Nar Goon to Croydon, reported feeling the tremor.

Olinda resident Suzie Leach said she was watching a TV series with her husband when she heard a "sonic boom" coming from the east.

"Although we did not feel reverberations, we heard them afterwards for quite a few seconds," she told the ABC.

"We went outside. It was unnaturally still and silent. We wondered if it was an earthquake, or if a truck had hit a tree."

Ben Beattie felt the earthquake from Boronia, about 35 kilometres from Pakenham.

"It sounded like a loud rumble rolling in from the distance, almost train like," he said.

"The windows started shaking and then the couch started to shake too."

Blasting noise likely rocks breaking below the earth's surface

In the locality of Kallista, near the Dandenong Ranges National Park, Linda Jones also reported feeling the earth shake.

"Heard a bang and rumble and the ground shook for a few seconds," she said.

Senior seismologist with Geoscience Australia Trevor Allen said hearing a boom or "blasting noise" during an earthquake was common.

"It may be a noise that's resulting from the rocks actually breaking beneath the surface, and that transmits to the surface of the earth as soundwaves," he said.

Dr Allen said it was difficult to know what exactly triggered the earthquake.

But he said tremors were not uncommon in the Pakenham area.

"On average we tend to get an earthquake of around about Magnitude 2 every year in the region, going back 20 years," he said.

He said Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley areas in the south-east of the state were among the active earthquake areas in Australia.

As of 8:30pm no damage from the earthquake had been reported, Victoria's State Emergency Service said.


© ABC 2020

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