Cantabrians shaken in Melbourne
Cantabrians living in Melbourne were rattled last night by one of the largest mainland Australian earthquakes recorded in decades.
The magnitude-5.3 quake struck at 8.53pm (10.53pm NZ time) and frightened residents from Gippsland to the western district and almost as far north as the New South Wales border.
Cantabrian Matt Wilson, 29, moved to Melbourne 10 months ago and said he felt like the quakes were following him.
He was working in Fitzgerald Ave when the February 22 quake struck last year.
"It does put you on edge because of what we went through in Christchurch,'' he said.
''I didn't move to Melbourne to get away from the quakes, but the aftershocks had started to get to me mentally. It was a bit of a surprise."
Wilson lives in the suburb of Prahran, about 50 kilometres from the epicentre, and said it was a "reasonable-sized'' quake.
"I certainly felt it. It was a decent jolt, but nothing like what we had in Christchurch, so I guess people feel it differently in different places,'' he said.
"There was no damage and some people didn't even feel it. To me, it felt more like a magnitude 3 than a 5.3.
''I said to everyone, imagine that but 50 times more violent and you've got the February 22 quake."
He thought living in Christchurch had made him more aware of the dangers of earthquakes than his Australian peers.
"The suburb I live in has a lot of brick buildings that would crumble easily if we had a quake anything like the size of what we had in Canterbury,'' he said.
''I guess you always just think it might be the start of something bigger."
Mel Airns and her husband moved to South Yarra just over a month ago. She said the quake made their 11th-floor apartment sway.
"To start with I thought I was just imagining it, but things were moving around the room, as they do,'' she said.
''[It was] obviously nothing compared to February or December for us, but people I've spoken to that felt it from Melbourne were all very scared, which is totally understandable.
"They have all seen what's happened to Christchurch on the news, so I guess they don't know what to expect."
Elwood resident Andrew Chapman, who was in Christchurch for the September 2010 earthquake, told The Age he felt two significant waves of shaking lasting up to a minute.
"Our house was seriously swaying as we bolted outside," he said.
"It was very unexpected ... We left Christchurch because we didn't want to be in an earthquake zone and Melbourne was a safe place to go to
"We're feeling very unnerved because I suppose it's reignited all those anxieties and feelings from when we lived in Christchurch."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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