Earthquake Rocks New Guinea

EarthquakeAn earthquake rocked New Britain island, which is located off Papua, New Guinea, just before 9:30 p.m. AEST on Friday. The seismic event had a magnitude of 6.7, although it was initially reported at 6.8, but the U.S. Geological Survey later revised its findings.

The seismic event hit the island, which is northeast of the Papua, New Guinea mainland, at a depth of 48.9 kilometers. New Britain, the site of the quake, is the largest island of the Bismarck archipelago and has a population of nearly 500,000 residents. The epicenter of the quake was almost 700 kilometers from the capital of Port Moresby.

While aftershocks are expected, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said a tsunami is not expected in the wake of the earthquake, and there was no perceived threat to Hawaii. There have been no reports of casualties or injuries.

The quake site lies along the Pacific Australia plate, which is approximately 4,000-kilometers-long and forms a portion of the “Ring of Fire,” which is a well-known global seismic hotspot due to the instability between tectonic plates.

This is not the first seismic event to affect the region. On March 30, another quake hit the region nearly 55 kilometers from Kokopo. That event measured a 7.5 magnitude and no tsunami was triggered as a result of the event, although the tremor did prompt residents to flee from their homes.

By Leigh Haugh

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