A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck 148 km from Kimbe in Papua New Guinea at 11:23 UTC.
The exact location of the temblor was 5.483ºS and 151.482ºE. The epicenter of the earthquake was 35.8 km. One person said the quake could be felt 1271 km away in the Solomon Islands.
The temblor effected the following locations in Papua New Guinea: Kimbe, Kokopo, Kavieng, Arawa, and Popondetta.
No injuries or significant property damage has been reported.
The Australia-Pacific plate is more that 4,000 km long. On the northern margin, it extends from the Sunda Trench to the Solomon Islands. The eastern section is over 2,300 km long and it extends from northeast of Australia and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the northward subduction of the Australia plate.
The Australian plate converges with the Pacific plate along the South Solomon trench, at a rate of 95 mm/yr toward the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common. There have bee 13 temblors 7.5M and larger recorded since 1900.
On April 1, 2007, there was an 8.1M interplate megathrust earthquake. It struck on the western end of the trench and generated a tsunami that killed 40 people. It was the third 8.1M megathrust earthquake associated with the subduction zone in the last century. The other two megathrust events were in 1939 and 1977.
Written by Jeanette Smith
USGS: M 6.3 – 148km E of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea
Image Courtesy of Nomad Tales’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License