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An earthquake has struck in the heart of Melbourne with residents reporting shaking just before midnight.
The earthquake hit on Sunday at 11.41pm near Sunbury, on the city’s north-west fringe, with an estimated magnitude of 3.8 on the Richter scale.
It is thought to be the largest earthquake to impact the Melbourne metropolitan area in over 120 years.
Residents in the CBD and downtown Melbourne claimed they could feel the tremor, with some reporting their walls and windows were shaking.
Dr Dee Ninis, an earthquake geologist, said it was ‘widely felt across Melbourne’.
The earthquake struck on Sunday about 11:47pm with an estimated magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale near Sunbury, 40km north west of the city
But residents living in Melbourne’s CBD said they could feel the walls of their apartment shaking
Victoria State Emergency Service’s said: ‘A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has been recorded with an epicentre near Sunbury, Victoria.
‘The earthquake occurred at 11:41pm with widespread felt reports. No injuries or damage has been recorded at this time.’
The emergency service warned residents to be wary of aftershocks and to ‘drop, cover, and hold on’ if they experienced one.
Adam Pascale, chief scientist at the Seismology Research Centre, said the quake had ‘got him of bed’.
‘Potentially there could be some minor damage at the epicentre,’ he said.
Mr Pascale said he thought it was the largest earthquake since 1902 within the Melbourne metropolitan area.
SEN 1116 radio host Damian Watson experienced the tremor while presenting live on air.
The mic can be seen trembling as a song plays before he welcomes listeners back.
‘We’ve experienced a tremor in the studio, I’m not sur eif you have at home. That felt like a bit of an earthquake.’
Residents flooded to social media to share their experience of the tremor.
Journalist and writer Sasha Petrova said: ‘My house just shook so violently I thought several bombs had exploded.’
Ms Petrova said it did not feel like the ‘trembling of a quake’ but rather ‘just two one second violent shakes close together, with some books falling off the shelf’.
Sunbury resident Corey Lainez, 41, told The Age the quake left a crack in the wall of his kitchen.
‘I thought a car or truck had hit the house and before I could even stand up the dogs were running around the house barking,’ he said.
‘It was one very big, violent shake.’
Melburnians flooded to social media sites like Twitter (pictured) to share their experience of the tremor
Many received alerts on their smartphones…
…while others saw the funny side and mocked the size of the quake
One startled Twitter user said he had been ‘woken up’ by the tremor.
‘The whole house was shaking! he said.
‘My phone alerted me with safety information, shaken got up to check on my family, alhamdulillah all ok!
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘Earthquake in Melbourne felt like a massive explosion.’
One Facebook user living on Phillip Island south of Melbourne said even their windows rattled.
Those people living in the affected area with Android phones received automatic alerts, saying: ‘Expect light shaking. Initial estimate M4.5 about 21.6km away.’
Some people’s phones offered survival tips, including suggestions to get a pair of shoes, check for the smell of gas and advice to avoid damaged buildings.
Another said his phone received an earthquake alert and his ‘house was shaking here in Yarraville’.
Melbourne was rattled by an earthquake in September 2021, which caused some damage, including on the Chapel Street shopping strip.
At magnitude-5.9, it was the largest earthquake ever recorded in Victoria, but its epicentre was at Woods Point, about 130 kilometres east of Melbourne.
The tremor was also felt in parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.