Magnitude 6.5 quake hits Papua New Guinea: USGS

An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck the island of Papua New Guinea on Nov 8, 2017.
An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck the island of Papua New Guinea on Nov 8, 2017.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM USGS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, AFP) - A magnitude 6.5 quake hit Papua New Guinea on Wednesday (Nov 8) morning, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.4, struck at 7.26am (5.26am Singapore time) 83 km south of the coastal city of Wewak but it was fairly deep, some 112km underground, which would have mitigated the shaking.

No tsunami warning was issued.  

"A quake of this type can cause damage and trigger landslides, but it was relatively deep which is a good thing," Geoscience Australia seismologist Phil Cummins told AFP.

He added that many buildings in the area were made of lighter materials, rather than brick and masonry, "which is not as dangerous in events like this".  

Earthquakes are common near Papua New Guinea, which lies on the 4,000km-long Pacific Australia plate.  

It forms part of the "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates