Another seismic tremor hits Melbourne, yet scarcely shakes a window

There was no rattle or roar, and most Melburnians slept through it unaware – but another small earthquake shook Victoria early Wednesday morning, less than a week after a stronger quake shook the state.

GeoScience Australia’s website shows a magnitude-2.4 earthquake struck near Gembrook in the Dandenong Ranges at 1.26am on Wednesday morning.

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Earthquake hits Victoria overnight
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Earthquake hits Victoria overnight

The state of Victoria has been hit with yet another earthquake.

Only a lucky 100-plus people on Melbourne’s eastern fringe reportedly felt this early-morning tremor though, which GeoScience Australia’s automated system has labelled as occurring near Pakenham.

The epicentre is still located some 15 kilometres further north of the outer south-eastern suburb.

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Victoria SES issued a late-night tweet confirming the tremor and reporting no injuries or damage had been recorded.

Wednesday’s earthquake struck at a depth of three kilometres, according to GeoScience Australia.

A major magnitude-5.9 earthquake rocked Melbourne in September 2021 and has since sparked numerous aftershocks.

Just last Friday, a magnitude-4.6 quake – the largest since the record tremor in the midst of pandemic lockdowns two years ago – struck near Mt Baw Baw in eastern Victoria, about 1.30am.

In late May, a magnitude-3.8 tremor near Sunbury, on Melbourne’s north-west fringe, was recorded as the largest earthquake in metropolitan Melbourne for 120 years. Experts told The Age at the time it was part of normal seismic activity.

A small earthquake also rattled parts of Melbourne’s south-east in mid-May, and Frankston was hit with a tremor last September.

The Seismology Research Centre says more than 1500 earthquakes have been recorded in the Woods Point area – close to the location of last Friday’s tremor – since the September 2021 earthquake.

Dr Dee Ninis, from the Seismology Research Centre, explained to this masthead last week there was a chance Victoria suffers a larger earthquake, but recent tremors were well within the expected aftershock sequence following the 2021 tremor.

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Australian cities would have no advance warning if a huge earthquake were to strike because the country does not have an early warning system.

But, this masthead reported installing one similar to earthquake-prone areas like Japan and California would be technically challenging and extremely costly, especially considering Australia’s relatively benign tremors.

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