SYDNEY (REUTERS) - A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck remote New Britain island in Papua New Guinea on Thursday (Oct 11), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, though there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake hit about 200km south-west of the town of Rabaul at a depth of almost 40km, just before 7am local time (5am Singapore time).
"We felt the earthquake a bit, but it was not too strong," Constable Roy Michael told Reuters by phone from Rabaul police station.
He said there was no damage in the town, but officers had not yet been able to contact villages closer to the epicentre.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said waves less than 0.3m high could be expected on coastlines in Papua New Guinea and the neighbouring Solomon Islands. Australia's Tsunami Warning Centre said its coastlines were not at risk.
The quake was initially recorded with a magnitude of 7.3 but was downgraded.
At least two aftershocks with a magnitude greater than 5 shortly followed.
In March, a magnitude 6.6 quake struck nearby, but no casualties or damage were reported.
Papua New Guinea, one of the world's poorest countries, sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is still recovering from a 7.5-magnitude quake that hit some 900km to the west in February, killing at least 100 people.