Cracked buildings reported after shallow M3.8 earthquake hits Melbourne, the strongest since 1902

m3.8 earthquake melbourne australia may 28 2023 location map f

A shallow earthquake registered by Geoscience Australia as M3.8 hit Melbourne, Australia at 13:41 UTC on May 28, 2023, at a depth of just 2 km (1.2 miles). USGS is reporting M3.6 at a depth of 9.5 km (5.9 miles); EMSC M3.6 at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles).

The epicenter was located 6.3 km (3.9 miles) N of Greenvale (population 21 274) and 28 km (17.4 miles) NNW of the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD), Victoria, Australia.

The quake follows M2.5 near Ferntree Gully, some 30 km (18 miles) SE of CBD on May 16.

There are reports of cracked buildings across Melbourne (population 4 917 750) and the quake was felt as far north as Bendigo and as far south as Hobart in Tasmania. It lasted between 5 and 10 seconds and was reported as felt by more than 22 000 people.

Victoria SES said they received three calls for help following the quake.

According to Adam Pascale, the chief scientist at the Seismology Research Center, this was the largest quake with an epicenter within 40 km (24.8 miles) of the CBD since M4.5 in 1902.

The strongest quake to hit Victoria, however, is M5.9 in 2021, with the epicenter located north of Rawson, about 130 km (81 miles) from Melbourne. This quake resulted from the rupture of a previously unknown faultline, which was discovered in 2023.

The largest earthquake ever registered in Australia is the M8.1 Tasman Sea earthquake of 2004. The strongest earthquake to hit Australia on land is the 1988 Tennant Creek earthquake in the Northern Territory.

On average, Australia experiences two earthquakes a year with magnitudes above 5.

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Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Regional seismicity

m3.8 earthquake melbourne australia may 28 2023 emsc regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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