‘I feel the earth move’
Just after 9.15am on Wednesday, September 22, the last thing people in the Rose City were expecting was an earthquake.
The Ensign spoke to four local people about their experience of the day the earth shook.
Benalla’s Christine Knight was at home with five-year-old Genesis getting ready to take him to kindergarten when she heard an ominous sound.
“I was inside brushing my teeth going to kinda and there was the earth shaking everywhere,” Genesis said.
“The whole house shook. I thought it was an earthquake, so we ran outside.
“I was so scared. We were in the front garden and our neighbour came out, too.
“I said `Mummy, call the police’, but she called grandma instead.
“And I told Mummy I hope Fiona grabbed all my kinda friends and ran them outside so they are safe.”
“His first thought was for his friends at kinda which was sweet,” Christine said.
“We were in the bathroom about to head off to kinda then I heard what sounded like a huge gust of wind.
“I thought ‘Wow, a storm’.
“As soon as I felt the ground swaying I picked Gen up and ran for the door.
“All the neighbours had run out, too.
“I’ve experienced an earthquake in Tokyo before and for me this one was worse.”
Dianne McMillan was in her Benalla kitchen with her husband David and their dogs.
“We heard a rumble,” Dianne said.
“It got louder and the house started to vibrate. The vibrations became worse and the noise became louder until it became a roar.
“By this stage the water has started to slop out of the dogs’ dish and the house was shaking violently.
“Next we knew the roar was deafening and the whole house started to move from right to left then back again.
“As well as the roar we hear the house creaking and see movement all around.
“Let’s get out,” we yelled simultaneously. “I had a great fear that our upper storey was about to descend on us.
“Instinctively the dogs were of a similar mind and we all bolted for the back door together. What a relief to be outside, with so much mayhem all around us.
“We found our neighbours were also out in the nature strip, just as shaken up as we were...
“After a few minutes we settled a bit and came back inside to survey the damage. Strangely there is very little.
“I went into my office and found that all the desk drawers had shaken open.
“Mum’s kerosene lamp collection, which resides on the piano was still in place and unharmed. Nothing else seemed to be out of place. I start to wonder, ‘Had I dreamt this?’ "Upstairs there is some evidence of the event. “My porcelain dolls had all been catapulted from the cedar chest where they live, to the floor.
“Our standard lamps had fallen over; vases of flowers had likewise been toppled, some of David’s books had dislodged, and his model Flying Scotsman was on the floor...
"Days later I still have a fear of going upstairs for my shower.
“The vulnerability of being upstairs, totally naked, worries me a lot.
“I read on Facebook that many are still bothered by vertigo, motion sickness and anxiety. I have suffered from these symptoms, too.
“The phenomenon has been called ‘earthquake hangover’.
“Please God, don’t let this happen to us again.”
Peter Nelson was at home when he noticed his cat Roma acting strangely.
“I suddenly became aware of a large rumble with notable shaking of my home,” Peter said.
“Roma became terrified, running quickly around inside the house, which rocked and swayed for nearly half a minute.
“This earthquake brought back memories of a similar quake which hit my previous home in Karingal, Frankston, in 1969.
“I also experienced another tremor with my three young children on a Wednesday morning, in June 1981 in Glen Waverley.
“It is interesting to note there was excessive rains in 1969 and 1981 and the Mornington quake of 1932 followed a wet winter.”