Magnitude 5.8 Earthquake Hits Australia, Country's Largest in 24 Years

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has hit Australia's southeastern coast. The quake was originally reported as a 6.0 magnitude, but the magnitude was later downgraded. The country hasn't been hit with a quake above 5.8 in 24 years.

The epicenter of the earthquake hit the city of Mansfield around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning local time. The quake was felt for about 30 seconds. Its tremors were felt in the city of Melbourne, the coastal capital within the Australian state of Victoria.

The tremors were also felt as far away as Sydney, Adelaide and the southern island state of Tasmania.

A 4.0 aftershock followed about 15 minutes after the initial quake.

Australia earthquake magnitude Melbourne
Southeastern Australia has been hit by an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude. It's Australia's strongest quake in about 24 years. In this photo, geologists look at the seismograph for a 2007 earthquake. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had received no reports of serious injuries, Seven News Australia reported. Morrison pledged government funds for any areas harmed by the quake.

There's no threat of a tsunami following the quake, according to the Victoria State Emergency Service. However, James Merlino, Victoria's Deputy Premier, warned that aftershocks may continue affecting the region for the "next few weeks or months."

The quake knocked debris off of buildings and downed power lines, videos on Twitter showed. Some office and apartment buildings evacuated their inhabitants. Emergency crews sectioned off city blocks where gas lines may have ruptured, the NZ Herald reported.

Nearly 35,000 households in Melbourne's northern suburbs lost power, Seven News Australia reported. Power has since been restored to most of the area.

New South Wales Fire and Rescue reported no major structural damage in the region. Nevertheless, several buildings were reported as damaged in Melbourne, including a storefront for Betty's Burgers, a popular burger bar that collapsed on Chapel Street in Windsor, The West Australian reported.

"It came right out of leftfield," Mansfield Mayor Mark Holcombe told ABC Breakfast, an Australian news program. "We don't have earthquakes, that I am aware of, none of the locals I spoke to this morning had that experience with earthquakes here before, so it is one right out of leftfield. It was just a really big crumble."

"I have been in earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to go on longer than I have experienced before," he added. "The other thing that surprised me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumbling like a truck going past."

The last Australian earthquake over 5.8 magnitude occurred in Collier Bay in Western Australia on August 10, 1997. The quake measured 6.3 in magnitude. It left no major damage.

Newsweek contacted Morrison's office for comment.