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Powerful quake strikes coast off Papua New Guinea triggering tsunami warning

The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, according to the USGS. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth’s surface, but the USGS estimated that damage and injuries would be low because of the area’s sparse population.

Garfield Tarabu, a spokesman at the National Disaster Centre, said a disaster coordinator was on the ground assessing the situation in and around Kokopo but they hadn’t yet gotten an update on the extent of the damage.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre had said tsunami waves of up to 1 metre were possible along coastal areas up to 1000km from the epicentre, including Papua New Guinea and the nearby Solomon Islands.

Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, to the east of Indonesia.

It sits on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occurs.

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake in February 2018 in the nation’s central region killed at least 125 people and forced another 35,000 from their homes. That quake hit areas that are remote and undeveloped, and assessments about the scale of the damage and injuries were slow to filter out.


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