SYDNEY — A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck the southeast of Australia on Wednesday, with reports of damaged buildings across Victoria state, home to Melbourne.

Government agency Geoscience Australia said the quake was detected about 9:15 a.m. local time and was just over six miles deep. Earthquakes are rare in Australia, especially of that magnitude.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, but some apartment buildings were evacuated in central Melbourne, a city of 5 million, where photos on social media showed damage to buildings and streets.

“Yes, that was an earthquake,” state premier Dan Andrews tweeted, underscoring how unusual large quakes are in the country.

The quake also rattled morning television presenters on state broadcaster, ABC, one of whom stood up and prepared to evacuate the building. A seismologist told local radio it was the biggest earthquake the southeastern state of Victoria has experienced since European settlement, and warned there would be aftershocks.

Australia’s largest recorded earthquake was in 1988 at Tennant Creek in the remote Northern Territory, with an estimated magnitude of 6.6. It occurred in a sparsely populated area and resulted in damage to a major gas pipeline.

The quake could dampen plans for a third day of demonstrations in Melbourne against strict measures to control an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus. Angry mobs swarmed the city for a second straight day on Tuesday, after officials halted all nonessential building work in the city following a violent demonstration against vaccine mandates for the construction industry a day earlier.

Australia has been grappling with an outbreak of the coronavirus’s highly contagious delta variant since mid-June, with Melbourne, Sydney and the capital Canberra in strict lockdowns for weeks.

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