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Three earthquakes have hit the region near Papua New Guinea today with the largest one measuring 5.5 on the Richter Scale. The most recent one, which hit at around 5:11 pm EST, measured 4.9.
The first temblor hit at 6:30 am EST and measured 5.5 on the scale. The epicenter of that quake was 43 miles north of Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province in the southeast of the country. The second quake came at 11:53 am EST and was 4.6 on the scale. This quake hit 84 miles southwest of Panguna, the largest open-cut copper mine in the world. It is located in the eastern part of the country on Bougainville Island. The last quake hit 81 miles southwest of Taron. All of the quakes were shallow.
In the past month alone, the region has seen 95 temblors. There have been tsunami warnings issues in the country because of a 7.1-magnitude quake earlier this month.
Papua New Guinea lies in the Ring of Fire, the arc of high tectonic activity and seismic faults in the Pacific Ocean. The island country also has several volcanoes and eruptions because of seismic activity are quite common. The Australia plate and the Pacific plate lie in the region and their movement causes volcanic eruptions which can lead to quakes. These earthquakes can further lead to tsunamis.
By Anugya Chitransh
USGS: M4.9 – 130km SSW of Taron, Papua New Guinea
Earthquake Track: Recent Earthquake Near Papua New Guinea
Guardian Liberty Voice: Earthquakes Hit Papua New Guinea Area
Photo Courtesy of Taro Taylor’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License