Powerful earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea

Cracked earth is seen after an earthquake and aftershocks in Papua New Guinea in 2018. – Reuters
  • The tremors injure people, damage property and cause widespread panic among residents.
  • US Tsunami Warning System Issues Earthquake Threat Alert; later said the threat had passed.
  • Residents use social media and share images and videos of damaged infrastructure.

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Sunday, causing injuries, property damage and panic among residents.

The earthquake80 km (49.7 miles) deep, hit the eastern region of Papua New Guinea around 09:45 a.m. local time (2345 GMT Saturday), but the tremor was felt as far as the capital of Port Moresby, in about 500 km (310 miles) one way.

United States tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning after the quake, but later said the threat had passed. There was no immediate tsunami threat to Australia, its Bureau of Meteorology said.

Residents of Papua New Guinea have taken to social media to share images and videos of cracked roads, damaged buildings and cars, and items falling from supermarket shelves.

The extent of the damage was not immediately clear as the location was remote. But local media reported that at least one person had died and there were unconfirmed reports of buried homes and widespread damage.

Reuters could not independently verify these reports.

The government was expected to give more details later in the day.

Earthquake are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot of seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountainous highlands of PNG in 2018, killing more than 100 people and damaging thousands of homes.

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