Arrium crashes to massive loss of life
The death toll of the disaster has exceeded a million by early morning on Friday morning.
At least seven others have been injured but it was not clear if they were being treated for injuries sustained as a result of the earthquake.
Falling debris left behind after US rescue workers remove a roof off one of the apartment blocks during the aftermath of the earthquake. Picture: 라이브 카지노AFP
Aerial video shows one flat block collapse after another as the buildings fell.
Aerial footage from nearby apartment blocks showed some buildings having toppled to their bases from the force of the quake, followed by the same scene again on an apartment block opposite.
Local media reported a similar collapse at another apartment block just west of the epicentre and it is unclear if it was caused by the earthquake, but an Australian Defence Force spokesperson confirmed its troops were deployed.
An hour after the quake hit, a nearby apartment block, whose roof remained partially down, had fallen and crumbled to the ground, forcing hundreds of people out for safety checks and then to watch rescue workers pull it free of the rubble.
The unit is one of at least 18 units and 10 parking lots within a 10-block radius of the quake.
A senior US official was quoted as saying that all US government buildings in and around the quake, which happened at 10.30am local time, were being evacuated.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said in a statement that a USGS team went to two of the buildings and determined that “all of the people and property present have been either damaged or partially damaged and are not being protected”.
There were no reports of injuries and there was no news of any people trapped under falling debris.