7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Papua New Guinea, No Damage Reported
On Monday, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale rocked the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea.
The earthquake also caused a small yet frightening tsunami; however, no casualties or damages were reported.
Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea’s national disaster center said that the tsunami, measuring half a meter (1.5 feet), struck the harbor of Rabaul, a town near the epicenter.
The earthquake occurred 40 miles deep and about 30 miles south-east of the town of Kokopo near Rabaul, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Warnings of a potential tsunami with waves measuring three meters affecting parts of Papua New Guinea were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. It is said that other Pacific countries as far as Russia could be affected by waves measuring less than 0.3 meters.
“Persons located in threatened coastal areas should stay alert for information and follow instructions from national and local authorities,” the center added.
However, the center reported a 3 cm. tsunami at a wharf in the Solomon Islands, which is 280 miles from the epicenter. The warning was thereby lifted.
“Based on all data available … the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed,” the center said in a statement.
Mika Tuvi, one of the employees of the Rabaul Hotel near Kokopo, told ABC that the ground trembled for five minutes, but it caused no major damage.
“We were scared. We thought that the building might collapse,” she said.
Tuvi added that hotel guests and staff fled the premises when the earthquake occurred.
Papua New Guinea, placed in the Ring of Fire – an area susceptible to seismic activity – has been prone to earthquakes.
The last earthquake PNG experienced happened on December, when a magnitude of 6.8 struck Bougainville Island.
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