A powerful earthquake measuring 7.1 magnitude has struck the Pacific state of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday (14.12.2011), but no tsunami warnings have been issued.
The quake struck at a depth of 75miles (121km), 137 miles northwest of the capital Port Moresby and 55 miles from the second city of Lae and at around 3:05pm local time. It lasted for two to three minutes.
There have been no reports of serious damage. Seismologists say the tremor is unlikely to trigger a tsunami as it hit deep underground and inland to cause any tsunami problems. The quake could cause other problems for the nearest largest town, Wau, about 12 miles from the epicenter, and Lae.
Seismologist Clive Collins said â€œIt’s in a mountainous area so there may be issues of landslides and things like that. That’s what’s the main problem in that particular part of Papua New Guinea.”
Papua New Guinea is regularly hit by earthquakes due to its proximity to the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.