Weather News

The moment when confused Victorian skiers feel the earthquake

Anthony Sharwood, Wednesday September 22, 2021 - 11:15 EST

As you no doubt know by now, a magnitude-5.8 earthquake shook a large part of southeastern Australia just after 9 am on Wednesday morning, with a magnitude-4 tremor afterwards.

Reports quickly emerged of shaking across a vast area, and Weatherzone has already spoken to readers from NSW and Victoria area who experienced the frightening seismic event first hand.

Now we have incredible footage of the quake in real time from the Victorian ski resort of Mt Buller, which is just over half an hour up the road from the quake's epicentre in the Victorian town of Mansfield.

Richard Ross runs the ski gear business Aussie Skier and was up at Mt Buller in Victoria when the quake struck.

"At first I thought it was a big load of snow coming off the roof, but we only had a small fall of snow this weekend, so I realised pretty quickly it must be an earthquake," he told Weatherzone.

Ross was busy working online when the quake struck, but his thoughts immediately turned to skiers on the hill – especially those riding chairlifts – who must have been seriously confused and or/frightened by the unexpected rumbling and shaking.

Image: Shaken, not stirred. Source: Mt

Ross told Weatherzone that he'd already heard that one of the resort's live snow cams – that run 24/7 video footage during winter – had captured the event.

Turns out he was right. The camera on Mt Buller's Standard run starts bouncing around at about five seconds and the shaking becomes pretty violent around 10 seconds. No problems for these skiers, although one group appears to have a brief mid-slope conference to discuss what's going on.

The video switches to the camera on the Little Buller Spur run about halfway through, and again, the shaking becomes quite violent after about 10 or 15 seconds.

Australia's ski resorts have had a rotten time of it this year with Covid lockdowns ruining what was otherwise a good season for snow coverage at most resorts.

An earthquake of this magnitude has the potential to cause structural damage to buildings and ski lifts, and even cause avalanches, but for now, the resort reports no issues.


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