Strong quake hits Papua New Guinea, tsunami risk over

SYDNEY: An effective 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the New Britain island of Papua New Guinea on Friday, US seismologists said, however a tsunami hazard from the tremor was over.The quake

struck at 5:25 pm regional time (2125 GMT, 5.25 am Malaysia time) about 162km from the New Britain town of Rabaul, the US Geological Survey said.It was at first recorded at a shallow depth of 10km, before it was modified by the USGS to a depth of 35km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre previously stated “harmful” waves of between 0.3-one metre above tide level might be generated by the quake for some coasts of PNG.It said smaller waves could likewise hit the Solomon Islands, however later included that the “tsunami hazard from this earthquake has now passed”.

“It was felt as far away as Kokopo (150km from the epicentre),” Geoscience Australia seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos told AFP of the tremor.There were no reports of damage at this stage, Spiliopoulos stated, adding that the affected areas were remote.The earthquake was quickly followed by two powerful smaller tremblings, determining 5.3 and 5.1, both at a depth of 35km, inning accordance with USGS.The quake began the heels of a separate 5.8-magnitude trembling some 43km west of Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, which struck at 6:51 am local time(1851 GMT, 2.51 am Malaysia time)at a depth of 10km. There are routine quakes in the region, and PNG is resting on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire which is a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction in between tectonic plates.PNG was struck by a 7.5-magnitude quake on Feb 26 that buried houses and set off landslides in its highlands region, eliminating a minimum of 125 people.Its mountainous and remote surface indicates it often takes several days for information about damage from quakes to reach authorities and aid companies.– AFP