Earthquake measuring magnitude-6.7 strikes off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea: US Geological Survey

A shakemap of the earthquake in Paupa New Guinea.
A shakemap of the earthquake in Paupa New Guinea.PHOTO: USGS

SYDNEY (AFP/REUTERS) - A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Wednesday (Aug 31), officials said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued.

The epicentre of the quake was located 89km north-east of Rabaul on New Britain island, 900km north-east of the capital Port Moresby, and at a depth of 499 km, the United States Geological Survey said.

"Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected," the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Australian seismologists estimated the quake, which hit in Papua New Guinea's eastern New Britain area, at 6.5-magnitude.

"It's only 10km to 20km off the coast but still it's very deep, so it wouldn't be anything extreme at all. No tsunami," seismologist Jonathan Bathgate told AFP.

Quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.