Saturday, March 24, 2018

6.8-magnitude quake hits off Kimbe, Papua New Guinea: USGS

HONG KONG, March 24 (Xinhua) -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 jolted 146 km east of Kimbe, capital of the province of West New Britain of Papua New Guinea on Saturday at 9.23pm local time, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The epicenter, with a depth of 59.7 km, was initially determined to be at 5.743 degrees south latitude and 151.452 degrees east longitude.
Reuters reported the revised 6.3 quake posed no tsunami threat to the region.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which comes after the magnitude 7.5 tremor that rocked the country’s mountainous mainland Highlands on Feb 26, killing 100 people.
The epicenter of Saturday’s quake was located 180 kilometers (112 miles) southwest of Rabaul on New Britain island, some 900 km northeast of the capital Port Moresby, at a depth of 68 km (40 miles), the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) said. 
The quake was revised down from an initial reading of magnitude 6.8 and a depth of 60 km.
“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.
Quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s 'Ring of Fire', a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. Rabaul lies in the shadow of Mount Tavurvur, an active volcano that destroyed the town in 1994 during a severe eruption.
The latest quake comes as Papua New Guinea struggles to get aid to desperate survivors of the Feb 26 quake, which flattened whole villages and spoiled water supplies on the country’s main island. 
A month on, disaster and relief officials say the scale of the emergency is testing the finances and capacity of the country.
The country is also missing its largest revenue earner, after the quake forced a shutdown of ExxonMobil Corp’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which has annual sales of US$3 billion at current LNG prices. 
The firm is still assessing quake damage at its facilities.

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