A magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused damage in the city of Melbourne in an unusually powerful tremor for the country, Geoscience Australia said.

The quake, reported early this morning (Tuesday) hit north-east of Australia’s second-most populous city near the town of Mansfield in Victoria at a depth of 10km (six miles), the government agency said.

According to the New Zealand Herald, tremors were felt as far away as Sydney, Canberra and Tasmania.

Mansfield is a small town in the foothills of the Victorian Alps. It is around 180km (112 miles) north-east of Melbourne by road.

Media showed images of damage to brickwork in Chapel Street in the inner suburb of South Yarra. Mansfield mayor Mark Holcombe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he was not aware of any damage reports in the town.

According to the New Zealand Herald a second quake, understood to be an aftershock and registering a magnitude of 4.0, had taken place in the same location.

The newspaper said: "According to Geoscience Australia the first quake was at 9:15am local time, and the second one, magnitude-4.0, was at 9.33am."

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