Fault zones are weak regions of the crust, which have been caused by a fracture or a series of fractures in the rock. During an earthquake, the ground on both sides of the fault zone can suddenly shift, causing tremors.
Professor Quigley said the fault zone from the last earthquake in Moe was probably only a few hundred yards long, meaning it was large enough to be felt, but not large enough to cause major damage .
Seismology Research Center chief scientist Adam Pascale said the quake was located on a different fault than the Woods Point fault and was too far from the aftershock to be considered a related event.
Mr Pascale said the earth’s crust in Gippsland is made up of many pieces of rock formed over millions of years, making the region ideal for seismic activity.
“The plate is still under pressure. Once the pressure exceeds the strength of the rock, it breaks, creating the earthquake, ”he said.
“Wherever you have hills and mountains you can see the result of these ruptures over the millennia – the Great Dividing Range that begins at Gippsland is an example of such an active Rift Zone.”
A spokeswoman for the state emergency services confirmed that the service had not received any calls for help.
Moe was the epicenter of a magnitude 5.3 earthquake in 2012, which rocked buildings in Gippsland and led to more than 60 aftershocks.
The earthquake was considered the largest earthquake in the state for over a century at the time.
Our last minute alert will be notify you important news when that happens. Get it here.