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Earthquakes

Papua New Guinea hit by 6.5 magnitude earthquake

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 7:05am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 November, 2017, 11:17am

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, according to officials, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The tremor hit at a depth of 107 kilometres (66 miles) some 67 kilometres from the town of Angoram, the administrative centre for the Pacific nation’s Lower and Middle Sepik regions, the United States Geological Survey said.

No tsunami warning was issued.

“A quake of this type can cause damage and trigger landslides, but it was relatively deep which is a good thing,” Geoscience Australia seismologist Phil Cummins said. “107 kilometres is getting to where the effects are mitigated.”

He added that many buildings in the Sepik area were made of lighter materials, rather than brick and masonry, “which is not as dangerous in events like this”.

Earthquakes are common near Papua New Guinea, which lies on the 4,000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate.

It forms part of the “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates stretching from Japan to Chile.