6.2-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Papua New Guinea

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A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

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The quake hit just after 4:00 pm local time (0600GMT) at a depth of 31 kilometres (19 miles) some 122 kilometres (75 miles) south of Kokopo, the capital of PNG’s East New Britain province, the USGS said.

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Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Trevor Allen said coastal communities near the epicentre would have felt “quite strong ground shaking” as the tremblor was close to the shore.

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But, he said, the area was relatively sparsely populated and flexible building design locally helped limit exposure to damage from quakes.

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“The East New Britain region is one of the most seismically active regions in the world and would generally tend to get an earthquake of this size once or twice a year,” he told AFP.

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Miriam Koikoi, a receptionist at Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort, told AFP the shaking was “not that big” and she had not seen any signs of damage.

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PNG sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

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Its mountainous and remote terrain means it often takes several days for information about damage from quakes to reach officials and aid agencies.

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