Published: September 2021

Earthquake information

Cracked brick wall showing earthquake damage

Tremors across the state

As everybody now knows, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded in our state at 9.15am on Wednesday 22 September. The earthquake’s epicentre was away from large towns or cities,  near the town of Mansfield, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps. Thankfully, there are no casualties.

Tremors however were felt across the state and and some buildings were damaged in Melbourne and other parts of the state. Power outages were also reported in some areas. The news agency Reuters reported that the unexpected quake was felt as far away as  Adelaide and Sydney, although there were no reports of damage outside Melbourne and no reports of injuries anywhere.

Be prepared for aftershocks

Since the initial earthquake, the Victorian State Emergency Service has reported that several aftershocks occurred near Mansfield and warned of the risks of other aftershocks to follow in coming weeks and months. The  Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp, said on the day of the earthquake: “It’s unlikely that we’ll see aftershocks that will equal or exceed what we saw at 9.15 … However, there is still a chance of significant aftershocks.”

Mark Quigley, associate professor of earthquake science at the University of Melbourne, writes on The Conversation website: “Even if the aftershocks aren’t as intense in magnitude, smaller quakes can still be incredibly damaging depending on their depth and location.”

Practical information for renters in an earthquake’s aftermath

If your rented home has become unsafe as a result of the earthquake Tenants Victoria has compiled some useful information for you – see our guide below.

Check your home

If any part of your home appears to be unsafe as a result of Wednesday’s earthquake, VicEmergency recommends you leave it until a more detailed inspection can be made. They also recommend making some initial checks, if safe to do so. See the link in description for more detail on the recommendations.

If safe to do so we recommend taking videos or photos of damage so you can pass this on to the landlord, or agent, after you have left.

It is important you do not put yourself at risk doing any checks of your home. If the damage to your home is an emergency situation call the SES on 132 500.

Contact the landlord

Once you are safe contact the landlord or agent to let them know about the damage and ask that they take all necessary action to have the house assessed and made safe as quickly as possible.

Keep a record of any call logs, emails and texts in case you need them later.

Even though Victoria is still under COVID restrictions, urgent repairs required for safety can still be done and tradespeople are allowed to attend homes to undertake repairs.

There is a risk of aftershocks

Be prepared for additional aftershocks. Although most of these are smaller than the main shock, some may be strong enough to cause additional damage [Source: VicEmergency].

Other helpful details can be found via these links:

Useful information
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