Quake hits Papua New Guinea, no damage or injuries reported

USGS image

A magnitude 7.0 natural disaster struck remote New Britain island in Papua New Guinea on Thursday, the United States Geological Survey said, though there were no immediate reports of damage. The epicentre was 125 kilometres east of the town of Kimbe on the island of New Britain, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said hazardous tsunami waves were forecast for some coasts.

The magnitude 7.0 quake was followed by aftershocks of magnitude 5.7 and 5.9.

Magnitudes between 7.6 and 7.8Earthquakes of this size may produce destructive tsunamis especially near the epicenter; at greater distances small sea level changes may be observed.

He was unable to comment on the tsunami threat.

McKee said there had been no reports of any major problems from the quake, which he took as a good sign.

The 7.1-magnitude quake hit near the country's eastern New Britain island at 0748 AEDT, according to the center.

At the onset of the quake, it was reported to have a magnitude of 7.3 but was later downgraded after comprehensive data were gathered.

Papua New Guinea is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the most seismically active region in the world.

Two smaller tremors struck the region immediately before and after the main quake. The quake's epicenter was located around 200 kilometers southwest of Rabaul at a depth of 40 kilometers.

The USGS website said there was a "low likelihood of casualties and damage" from the quake.

The latest quake came on the same day when the Indonesian authorities planned to conclude the search for victims of the quake-tsunami that struck its Sulawesi Island on September 28.

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