Papua New Guinea natural disaster: Possible Hawaii TSUNAMI THREAT after 7.7 quake

The shallow quake occurred 44km north-east of Kokopo in Papua New Guinea

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have dispatched teams in the Pacific island nation's New Britain province to monitor remote communities for casualties and assess the extent of damage after a powerful, shallow natural disaster rattled coastal towns.

A 7.5-magnitude quake jolted Papua New Guinea at a depth of 10 kms on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey meanwhile recorded the magnitude of the quake at 5.5, which struck off the coast of Kokopo.

Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth's surface, but the USGS estimated that damage and injuries would be low because of the sparse population. It was centred at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, it said.

New Zealand's civil defence says it is assessing whether the natural disaster poses any threat to the country. There are no sea level gauges near the epicenter, so it's unknown if a local tsunami was generated.


There were no initial reports of serious damage but the full picture may not become clear until daylight.

Police Sergeant Frank Kilaur described the tremor as "very strong".

"We are conducting the assessment starting this morning", he told Reuters news agency by telephone.

Located in the hot spot of seismic and volcanic activity that is the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, Papua New Guinea experiences regular earthquakes due to the friction of tectonic plates located deep beneath.

A 7.5-magnitude quake hit the rugged highlands region in February 2018 that triggered landslides, burying homes and killing at least 125 people.

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