Magnitude 6.0 earthquake strikes near Australia’s Melbourne; What is an Earthquake and its causes explained

The second-largest city situated in southern Australia, Melbourne was hit with a slight earthquake. The magnitude recorded is 6.0 on September 22 morning. Geoscience Australia said the earthquake recorded is one of the country’s biggest quakes, causing damage to buildings in the city and sending tremors throughout neighboring states.

The Survey conducted found that the earthquake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles). It is about 200 km (124 miles) northeast of Melbourne. Geosciences Australia said an aftershock measuring 4.0 struck shortly after the initial shake. Videos on social media showed one building suffered minor damage and power lines were disrupted in the central business district of Melbourne. The city residents were panic and were shocked as houses across the city began to shake. The tremors were felt hundreds of kilometers away.

People residing in the northern parts of the city said on social media they had lost power and others said they were evacuated from buildings. 

A news channel, News breakfast recorded the video of the presentation during the shake and the shake was clearly visible.

At around just under magnitude six this was “the biggest event in southeast Australia for a long time” Mike Sandiford, a geologist at the University of Melbourne told AFP. However, Quakes are relatively unusual in Australia’s populated east due to their position in the middle of the Indo-Australian Tectonic Plate, according to Geoscience Australia. 

How does Earthquake occur

An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to propel objects and people into the air, and wreak destruction across entire cities. 

Earthquakes are caused mostly by the rupture of geological faults. Also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.

At the Earth’s surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and displacing or disrupting the ground. When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami. 
There are some protective measures to take care of during the quake. Stay away from outer walls, windows, fireplaces, and hanging objects. If you are unable to move from a bed or chair, protect yourself from falling objects by covering them up with blankets and pillows. If you are outside, go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles, and buildings, and stay there. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries at home.