Natural disasters: Earthquakes

Quakes hit PNG, Kuril islands

The quake hit about 200km south-west of the town of Rabaul at a depth of almost 40km. Police officers had not yet been able to contact villages closer to the epicentre.
The quake hit about 200km south-west of the town of Rabaul at a depth of almost 40km. Police officers had not yet been able to contact villages closer to the epicentre.SCREENSHOT: USGS

SYDNEY • A major magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea's (PNG) New Britain island yesterday morning, briefly triggering a tsunami alert before the authorities gave the all-clear.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit about 115km east of Kimbe at a depth of around 40km.

There were a number of smaller tremors measuring up to 6.2 immediately before and after the main earthquake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre initially warned that hazardous tsunami waves were possible in coastal areas 300km from the epicentre. It later revised its forecast saying: "Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed."

A spokesman for PNG's National Disaster Management Office in Port Moresby said there were no immediate reports of damage from the quake.

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

Meanwhile, a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck in a remote region south of the Kuril islands off eastern Russia yesterday, the USGS said. No tsunami warning was issued.

The quake struck 148km south of Severo-Kuril'sk at a depth of 17.5km, the USGS said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2018, with the headline 'Quakes hit PNG, Kuril islands'. Print Edition | Subscribe