Sydney: A quake of at least 6.0 magnitude
struck Papua New Guinea today, the US Geological Survey and Australian seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was immediately issued.
The USGS said the quake hit the New Britain region at
around 14:30 hrs at a depth of 73 kms, 430 kms north-northeast
of the capital Port Moresby.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, based in Hawaii,
which monitors violent ocean movements generated by quakes,
issued no warning and no alert.
Australian seismologists put the deep coastal tremor
at magnitude 6.1, but said that it was unlikely to cause
significant numbers of injuries or major damage in the
sparsely populated region.
"There`s no threat of tsunami," Geoscience Australia
seismologist Clive Collins told AFP, adding that the nearest
town to the quake site, Kandrian, was about 70 kms away.
"There might be some local village (affected) --
people in the immediate vicinity would have felt it," he said of the tremor which had its epicentre on the coast and would have mostly affected nearby shallow waters.
Papua New Guinea, which is mired in poverty despite
rich mineral deposits, sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of
Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between
tectonic plates and quakes are frequent.
But because the mountainous nation has remote and
sparsely unpopulated areas, large quakes often cause very
little damage, Collins said.