Monday, April 21, 2014

Strong quake hits off Papua New Guinea

An earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea yesterday and a tsunami warning was briefly issued for the Pacific Island nation and neighbouring Solomon Islands, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake, at a depth of 10 km, struck 68 km southwest of Panguna on the island of Bougainville, the US Geological Survey said, revising down the magnitude from an initial 7.8.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later cancelled a tsunami warning for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and there was no threat to neighbouring Australia or across the Pacific Ocean.
At least six strong tremors have hit near Bougainville in the past week or so, including a magnitude 7.3 on April 11, but there have been no reports of major damage.
“Certainly it has been very active, more active than usual,” said Jonathan Bathgate, a seismologist at Geoscience Australia.
“(The spate of earthquakes) is relieving some pressure on this faultline, but we can’t rule out another large earthquake.”

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