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Magnitude 7.6 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

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Magnitude 7.6 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

Quake in Eastern New Guinea region strikes about 67 kms from Kainantu town, a sparsely populated area, says USGS. US regulatory agency NOAA removes tsunami threat for the area.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 also struck Mentawai Islands, off the western coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island.
An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 also struck Mentawai Islands, off the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island.
(TRTWorld)

An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 has struck Eastern New Guinea region in Papua New Guinea, with locals reporting damage to buildings near the town of Madang and further inland.

Sunday’s quake was reported by European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and US Geological Survey(USGS).

The quake was at a depth of 80 km EMSC said.

The quake struck at a depth of 61 kilometres, about 67 kilometres from the town of Kainantu, a sparsely populated area, the USGS said, warning that tsunami waves were possible within 1,000 kilometres of the epicentre.

US regulatory agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration later removed the tsunami threat for the area.

The extent of damage is not yet clear, but the USGS estimates “some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localised.”

Locals in Madang who spoke to the AFP news agency said they felt “very strong shaking”. There were reports of damage to buildings.

There was no immediate tsunami threat to Australia, its Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said.

Papua New Guinea residents on Twitter described feeling the tremors and shared images and videos of items falling off supermarket shelves.

‘Ring of Fire’

Earlier, an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck Mentawai Islands, off the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, EMSC said.

The quake was at a depth of 40 km it said.

Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, to the east of Indonesia and north of eastern Australia.

It sits on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occurs.

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake in 2018 in the nation’s central region killed at least 125 people. That quake hit areas that are remote and undeveloped, and assessments about the scale of the damage and injuries were slow to filter out.

In neighbouring Indonesia in 2004 a 9.1-magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including about 170,000 in Indonesia.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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