Strong quake rocks Papua New Guinea’s New Britain, no reports of damage
KANDRIAN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck an island of Papua New Guinea (P.N.G.) on early Thursday morning, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The 6.5-magnitude earthquake at 7.24 a.m. local time (2124 GMT Wednesday) was centered about 24 kilometers (14 miles) north-northeast of Kandrian, the capital of Papua New Guinea’s Kandrian-Gloucester District on the island of New Britain. It struck about 29 kilometers (18 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS estimated that approximately 34,000 people may have perceived ‘strong’ shaking, which could potentially result in light to moderate damage. Some 125,000 others may have felt moderate shaking, it said.
Earthquakes in the mountainous nation of New Papua New Guinea do rarely cause damage or casualties, however, as most structures in the region are light and flexible. This allows them to bend, rather than snap when a major earthquake happens.
Papua New Guinea, close to Indonesia, is also on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a tsunami as a result of the strong earthquake. “No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” the agency said in a bulletin.