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Vic: Metro Melbourne rocked by magnitude 4.6 tremor

By Simon Mossman
06 Mar 2009 10:26 PM

MELBOURNE, March 6 AAP - The centre of Melbourne has been rocked by an earth tremor, with residents reporting buildings shaking across the metropolitan area.

Geoscience Australia, which monitors earthquake activity, said the tremor measured magnitude 4.6 on the Richter scale, with the epicentre at Korumburra, about 90km southeast of Melbourne.

The US Geological Survey reported on its website that the tremor, which hit at 8.55pm (AEDT) on Friday, measured 4.7.

"There's not much difference between 4.6 and 4.7 but we're still registering it as a 4.6," Geoscience Australia's duty seismologist Phil Cummins told AAP.

"There were many reports from across a wide area - this was felt across a 100km radius.

"It was certainly a moderate earthquake that was likely to be felt across a wide area but is unlikely to have caused any damage, except possibly some minor damage near the epicentre."

Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) spokesman Allen Briggs said the service had been inundated with phone calls from the public but there had been no reports of any damage to the service immediately after the tremor.

"It was certainly enough to rattle windows and we've had reports it was felt in metropolitan Melbourne and as far down as Warragul and Leongatha in Gippsland," Mr Briggs said.

Ron Smith, who lives in Kew, in Melbourne's inner northeast, said he was relaxing at home when he felt the building shake.

"Jeez, it came as a bit of a surprise. We were just sitting around when all of a sudden the place starts vibrating," he said.

Residents in Reservoir, in Melbourne's north, and householders in the Dandenong Ranges east of the city, reported feeling the tremor shortly before 9pm.

"It felt like a large truck driving past the house," Charisse Ede, of Monbulk, said, adding she felt a second, smaller tremor a few minutes later.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the incident had also been reported to the police but she advised members of the public to only dial triple-0 in an emergency situation.