‘Australian’ volcano erupts as satellite captures the moment lava spills down the side
- ‘Big Ben’ aka Mawson Peak erupted
- Active volcano is on Heard Island
- Australia has two active volcanoes
One of the two active volcanoes on Australian territory has erupted, with stunning satellite pictures emerging of lava spilling down the side.
‘Big Ben, also known as Mawson Peak, on Heard Island in the southern Indian Ocean, was captured erupting by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite on Thursday, May 25.
Weatherzone said there appears to have been a ‘flurry of small eruptions’ over the past 18 months.
There are no active volcanoes on the Australian mainland.
The other active volcano on Australian territory is on McDonald island, which is located in the same patch of sea.
The Big Ben eruption followed at a magnitude 3.8 earthquake felt in Melbourne on Sunday night, which was felt as far away as Tasmania, NSW, South Australia and the ACT.
It struck the outskirts of the city, with tens of thousands of people woken by rattling walls and windows.
The earthquake hit at 11.41pm near Sunbury, 36km northwest of the CBD, with a depth of 3km.
It is thought to be the largest earthquake to affect the area in more than 120 years, with cameras inside a radio station capturing the moment live on air.
Geoscience Australia got more than 25,000 reports about the quake stretching from Bendigo and Albury in the north to Hobart in the south.
Sunbury resident Corey Lainez said he felt ‘one very big, violent shake’.
‘I thought a car or truck had hit the house and before I could even stand up the dogs were running around the house barking,’ he said.
Residents in the city said they also felt the tremor, with some reporting their windows and walls shook.
Dr Dee Ninis, an earthquake geologist, said it was ‘widely felt across Melbourne’.
The emergency service warned residents to be wary of aftershocks and to ‘drop, cover, and hold on’ if they experienced one.
Adam Pascale, chief scientist at the Seismology Research Centre, said the quake had ‘got him of bed’.
‘Potentially there could be some minor damage at the epicentre,’ he said.
Mr Pascale said he thought it was the largest earthquake since 1902 within the Melbourne metropolitan area.
SEN 1116 radio host Damian Watson experienced the tremor while presenting live on air.
His microphone was seen trembling as a song played. ‘We’ve experienced a tremor in the studio, I’m not sure if you have at home.
‘That felt like a bit of an earthquake,’ he told his listeners.
Residents flooded to social media to share their experience of the tremor.
One Sunbury resident said the quake was so violent it left a crack in the wall of his kitchen.
A startled Twitter user said he had been ‘woken up’ by the tremor. ‘The whole house was shaking! he said.
‘My phone alerted me with safety information, shaken got up to check on my family, alhamdulillah all ok!
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘Earthquake in Melbourne felt like a massive explosion.’