What to do in an earthquake

This is advice issued by the Victorian SES on what to do in an earthquake and what to be aware of in the aftermath of the large one that shook Victoria on Wednesday morning.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.5 to 5.8. Its epicentre was around 100 kilometres from Melbourne, near Licola, in Victoria’s east.

If you feel an earthquake

  • Drop to the ground.
  • Take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture.
  • Hold on until the shaking stops.

If you become trapped under debris

  • Do not use lighters or matches to create light.
  • Stay as still as possible and cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Shout only as a last resort.

If an aftershock occurs, stay safe by taking the following actions


  • Drop, cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture and hold on.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it’s safe to exit.

In an elevator

  • Drop, cover and hold on.
  • When the shaking stops, try to get out at the nearest floor if you can safely do so.


  • Pull over to a clear location away from buildings, trees, overpasses and power lines
  • Stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops
  • Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that may have been damaged.

The building housing Betty’s Burgers in Chapel Street, Prahran was damaged in the earthquake.Credit:Eddie Jim


Move away from buildings, trees, street lights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold on.

At the beach or near the coast

Drop, cover and hold on, then move to higher ground immediately in case a tsunami follows.

Near mountains, hills, slopes or cliffs

Be alert for falling debris or landslides.

Impacts in your area

The SES advise that earthquake on Wednesday morning may have resulted in building damage in north-east metropolitan Melbourne.

There are no reports of building damage in other parts of the state.

The earthquake may cause landslides and dangerous road conditions.

Power and telephone services have been lost in some areas.

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