Melbourne rattled by rare quake

MELBOURNE - The Australian city of Melbourne was hit by a rare earthquake Tuesday with residents reporting their houses shook and windows rattled, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The US Geological Survey said the 5.2 magnitude quake struck around 120 kilometres (74 miles) southeast of the Victorian state capital near the town of Moe, at a depth of nine kilometres.

Ron Smith, who lives in the Melbourne suburb of Kew, said his whole house shook. "We heard a roar and thought it was the wind," he told reporters. "The floor and the walls shook, the whole house shook."

Moe police constable Chris Hand said: "It was a decent-size rumble, the biggest I've ever felt. We've had a lot of calls but no one is reporting any damage or injuries at this stage."

Australia is occasionally hit by earthquakes, with the biggest of recent times a 6.3-magnitude tremor recorded in West Australia in 1997.

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