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Earthquake shakes Australian city

Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, was shaken by an earthquake Friday, but police said there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Residents reported buildings shaking across the metropolitan area and other parts of southeastern Victoria state, recently ravaged by wildfires which killed 210 people.

"Being so close to the fire areas and having been on alert the last two to three weeks, our only thought was 'oh my God, what now?'" said Kate Bruce of Doreen.

"My kids thought that the roof was coming off, that's how loud it was here."

The United States Geological Survey The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it.  said the 4.7 magnitude quake struck about 96 kilometres (59 miles) southeast of Melbourne shortly before 9.00 pm (1000 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometres.

"We were just sitting down watching the TV and then the whole house absolutely shook," James Sandman of Drouin town told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national public broadcaster, known previously as the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The ABC provides television, radio and online services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as .

"The foundations shook, the walls moved, they wobbled, and myself and my wife just looked at each other and we both then looked at the exits wondering 'do we need to get out?'"

Seismologist seis·mol·o·gy  
The geophysical science of earthquakes and the mechanical properties of the earth.

 Phil Cummins at Geoscience Australia, which monitors earthquake activity, told the national AAP AAP - Association of American Publishers  news agency the quake "is unlikely to have caused any damage, except possibly some minor damage near the epicentre epicentre

Point on the surface of the Earth that is directly above the source (or focus) of an earthquake. There the effects of the earthquake usually are most severe. See also seismology.

"We are in Gippsland in Krowera, and the earth tremor sounded like an explosion here," another resident said.

"[It] felt like something very big had hit the house. Our power also went out for about eight to 10 minutes."

Victorian State Emergency Service spokesman Allen Briggs said the service had been inundated in·un·date  
tr.v. in·un·dat·ed, in·un·dat·ing, in·un·dates
1. To cover with water, especially floodwaters.

 with phone calls from the public but there had been no reports of any damage 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," Briggs said.

Just three Australian earthquakes are known to have caused fatalities, the University of Western Australia says on its website, with the worst being in 1989 in Newcastle in New South Wales New South Wales, state (1991 pop. 5,164,549), 309,443 sq mi (801,457 sq km), SE Australia. It is bounded on the E by the Pacific Ocean. Sydney is the capital. The other principal urban centers are Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Lismore, Wollongong, and Broken Hill.  state, which killed 13 people.
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Mar 6, 2009
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