No tsunami threat has been issued to the Australian mainland, islands, territories (Representational)

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Sydney/Melbourne:

A shallow quake rattled southeastern Australia early Wednesday, sending panicked residents running into the streets of the second-largest city of Melbourne.

The rare quake hit east of the city just after 9:00am local time (2300 GMT) and was felt hundreds of kilometres (miles) away.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 5.8 and said it struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles).

Images shared on social media showed rubble strewn across the popular shopping area around Melbourne’s Chapel Street, with bricks apparently coming loose from buildings.

Zume Phim, 33, owner of Melbourne’s Oppen cafe, said he rushed onto the street when the temblor hit.

“The whole building was shaking. All the windows, the glass, was shaking — like a wave of shaking,” he told AFP.

“I have never experienced that before. It was a little bit scary.”

Sizable earthquakes are unusual in Australia’s populated southeast, with local media reporting it was among the largest ever recorded in the country.

“It was quite violent but everyone was kind of in shock,” Melbourne cafe worker Parker Mayo, 30, told AFP.

Geosciences Australia said an aftershock measuring 4.0 struck shortly after the initial temblor.

The mayor of Mansfield, near the quake epicentre, said there was no damage in the small town but it had taken residents by surprise.

“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,” Mark Holcombe told public broadcaster ABC.

“We don’t have earthquakes that I am aware of — none of the locals I spoke to this morning had that experience with earthquakes here before — so it is one right out of left field.”

Emergency services said they had received calls for help as far away as Dubbo, about 700 kilometres from the quake epicentre, with fire and rescue crews dispatched to help.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking from New York, said there were no initial reports of injuries.

“It can be a very, very disturbing event for an earthquake of this nature,” he said. “They are very rare events in Australia.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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