Earthquake rocks the inner city

Katie Johnson

Rattled inner city locals poured out onto the streets after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Melbourne at 9.15am on September 22.

In Carlton, office workers and business owners came out of their buildings in flocks to share their confusion and assess the damage.

Briscola Espresso owner Michael Awad said he had just sat down with breakfast after opening the café when the building started shaking.

“The chairs started moving on the floor and it went on for about 10 seconds – I’m so thankful everything is okay,” Mr Awad said.


Everyone came out onto the street, and we were all confused so we went straight to the news and found out it was an earthquake.


Carlton resident Emma Jackson said she felt the earth shake for “five or six seconds” on Pelham St.

“I was sitting in my parked car with the engine on and I thought my engine was going to blow up for a second – I couldn’t work out what is was,” Ms Jackson said.

“Then I realised the whole car was shaking from the earthquake.”

Parkville resident Stuart Riley said that when the earthquake started, he thought it was “hail hitting the roof”.

“I was having a quiet moment with my two kittens who are only three months old but have an incredible sense of hearing,” Mr Roley said.

“As soon as the house started shaking, I wasn’t bothered by it, but the cats scampered away and started cowering in the corner. The reaction on social media has been really funny.”

East Melbourne General Store owner Lisette Malatesta said that no stock fell off her shelves during the quake, but her customers felt it and went out onto the street.

“Everyone came out onto Hotham St, and it was quite a nice atmosphere of everyone commenting and laughing about it,” Ms Malatesta said.


We get quite a lot of wind here because it’s a low-lying area so initially I just thought it was a strong gale.


“We also have a lot of bird life here and afterwards all the birds went totally nuts and started squawking and flying away.”

Ms Malatesta said that she was grateful that no serious damage had been reported in the suburb.

“There’s been no notifications of any damage which is good because we have quite a few heritage, and old, buildings but they are all very well maintained,” Ms Malatesta said.

“The issue in Chapel St was likely because the building had cracks and structural damage already.”

The earthquake centred south of Mansfield in regional Victoria and was felt all across the CBD, South Australia and parts of New South Wales.

Geosciences Australia reported that the quake’s epicentre was located at a shallow depth of 10 km which prevented more serious damage.

Curtin University’s structural geologist Professor Chris Elders said the likely cause of the quake was Australia moving seven centimetres away from Antarctica each year and toward Asia Pacific nations.

“The Indian Ocean is getting bigger and we’re colliding with Indonesia, Timor and New Guinea to the north,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“So, all those boundaries produce stresses that get transmitted through the crust and then when they hit a weak fault, the fault moves and causes the earthquake.” •

Caption: Carlton locals bonding together after the quake hit.

Caption: Briscola Espresso owner Michael Awad.

Caption: Emma Jackson was in her car when the earthquake hit.

Like us on Facebook