Australians have flocked to social media with hilarious reactions after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Melbourne and the nation’s southeast.
The quake was 10km deep and centred at Mansfield, a small town on the foothills of Victoria’s alps, at around 9.15am Wednesday, with tremors felt as far away as NSW and Tasmania.
It is the biggest earthquake Victoria has experienced since European settlement (1834) and more aftershocks are expected, but fortunately no injuries have been reported.
Despite the terrifying nature of the event, light-hearted Aussies were quick to poke fun at the situation which coincidentally coincided with the third day of planned anti-vax protests in Melbourne as construction workers rally against jab mandates.
A meme quickly began circulating on social media showing Dan Andrews in China, making a call to ‘unleash the earthquake’ in Victoria to punish residents.
A massive 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Melbourne on Tuesday, with tremors felt as far away as the NSW Central Coast. Pictured: Damaged buildings are seen along Chapel Street
One meme circulating online joked the earthquake was ordered by Premier Dan Andrews following days of anti-vax protests across Melbourne
‘When the police said they were deploying “different tactics” in response to the Melbourne protests, firing up an earthquake machine was not something I had on the pick list,’ one person tweeted.
Another wrote: ‘That was Dan sending a message to the protesters. GET VACCINATED or more earthquakes!’
One man urged Melbournians there was ‘no need to worry’, adding: ‘That was just Dan Andrews turning Victoria off and then back on again.’
Several others joked the earthquake was caused by the ‘Dan Andreas Fault’ – a name play on the 1200km long San Andreas Fault that runs through California.
Meanwhile, some suggested the premier would be cracking down on Covid restrictions in light of the destruction caused by the natural phenomenon.
‘Dan Andrews to lock down Victoria until we eliminate earthquakes,’ one person tweeted.
‘The earthquake has been fined for going outside of a 5km radius,’ another added.
‘Starting to feel like @Dan Andrews roadmap is actually the worst game of Jumanji ever,’ a third said.
A locked-down NSW resident claimed the earthquake would not have been allowed to spark widespread damage in his state.
‘Sydney earthquakes are only allowed within 5km of your home, with only two aftershocks permitted,’ he wrote.
‘No earthquakes may continue past 10pm on a weeknight, unless situated at the casino.’
Others renamed the rock fracture zones that caused the Victorian earthquake the ‘Dan Andreas’ Fault, in homage to the state’s premier and the San Andreas Fault in California
Many Aussies joked the natural phenomenon was sanctioned by the Victorian government
Someone else quipped the earthquake should be subjected to Covid vaccine requirements.
‘The earthquake can’t just move around the state freely like that without at least 1 dose of the vaccination #IShakeWithDan,’ they wrote.
The tremors were felt across Melbourne and as far away as Canberra and Sydney, as the shocks wreaked havoc on Victoria’s capital city.
There are reports of damage in Prahran, Brunswick, West Melbourne and Albert Park and to the exterior of Betty’s Burgers on Chapel Street in Windsor.
Video posted online show the burger chain’s store-front reduced to rubble as it partially collapsed in front of terrified Melburnians trying to seek safety.
Other Victorians quickly flocked to social media to report they had felt shaking following the quake.
Another meme featured Dan Andrews’ face superimposed on Simpsons’ character Hans Moleman pulling a lever on an earthquake machine
Houses in Melbourne shook and movement could be felt in Geelong and even at Canberra’s Parliament House and Sydney’s CBD.
Victoria’s State Emergency Service is receiving calls for assistance from across the state and is yet to make an assessment of any damage.
The SES have confirmed there is no tsunami threat.
Lynne Myers of High County Apparel in Mansfield told AAP ‘it just scared the hell out of us.’
‘Everything shook, the roof shook, boots fell off the shelf and I just ran outside,’ she said.
‘There’s no cracks or anything in the walls. We seem to have got over it pretty well. Everyone’s a bit shaken up here but there doesn’t seem to be any damage.
‘I’ve lived here 29 years and have never felt anything like it.’
Mansfield Shire Councillor Mark Holcombe said he lived in the area for 20 years but had never experienced an earthquake. He said it ‘came out of left field’.
A crowd gathered in Melbourne on Tuesday morning to survey the damage after the quake struck in Mansfield around 9.15am
‘It was really strong. I was sitting down at work at my desk and I needed to run outside, it took me a while to work out what it was,’ he told ABC television.
‘I have been in earthquakes overseas before and it seemed to go on longer than I have experienced before.
‘The other thing that surprised me was how noisy it was. It was a real rumbling like a truck going past.’
Tremors were also felt as far away as the NSW central coast, nearly 1000km from Melbourne.
Building movement was reported in Sydney’s CBD, and people at home in some suburbs of Sydney took to social media to say they had felt the quake.
The earthquake was originally recorded as a magnitude 6 but was later downgraded to 5.8 on the Richter scale.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND’S BIGGEST EARTHQUAKES
1989 Newcastle earthquake
The magnitude 5.6 quake that struck in the suburbs of Newcastle, NSW is widely regarded as one of Australia’s worst natural disasters.
Thirteen people died and more than 160 were injured – with the damage cost estimated at $4billion.
The earthquake damaged more than 35,000 homes and 147 schools.
2011 Christchurch earthquake
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, on New Zealand’s south island, on February 22, 2011 – claiming the lives of 185 people and leaving an estimated 2,000 with injuries.
The quake struck 6.7km southeast of the city at a depth of 6km.