6.8 earthquake rocks northeastern coast of Papua New Guinea

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shakemap of the earthquake, by the United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey says that a sizeable earthquake has occurred less than 140 kilometres (83 miles) from the Northeastern coast of Papua New Guinea. The initial indication from the USGS is that the earthquake registered at magnitude 6.8 at a depth of just 16.8 kilometres (10.4 miles).

It struck at 23:38 UTC (09:38 PGT) offshore between the areas of Wewak, the capital city of East Sepik and Madang, the capital city of the Madang Province.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a minor tsunami warning, stating "[n]o destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data. However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometres of the earthquake epicentre."

First reports from the area indicate no casualties and little or no localised damage.