Major Quake, PNG

A major earthquake struck Papua New Guinea yesterday.

Wednesday 6th May, 2015

A major earthquake struck the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea at 1:44 p.m. yesterday, New Zealand time. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake was located 4 km inland from the coast of the Solomon Sea, east of Pomio, in an area known as East New Britain. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the quake was centred 130 km south-south-west of Kokopo, 193 km east of Kimbe at a depth of 42 km.

Geoscience Australia reported the quake as magnitude 7.4 at a depth of 35 km, centred under the Solomon Sea south of the USGS assessment. It estimated that the earthquake would have caused damage within 150 km of the epicentre and would have been felt up to 1800 km away.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued four bulletins for the event, initially warning that hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts near the earthquake epicentre. In its final bulletin, it advised that the Port Moresby observatory had reported tsunami oscillations in Rabaul Harbour, 120 km north of the epicentre, and that the threat of larger waves triggered by the quake had mostly passed.

Yesterday’s event was the third significant earthquake to strike the area since April 30th. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 6.7 quake was centred 125 km south-south-west of Kokopo at 10:45 p.m. New Zealand Standard Time on April 30th. It also reported that a magnitude 6.8 quake struck 106 km south-south-west of Kokopo at 8:06 p.m. NZST on May 1st.

Yesterday’s earthquake has been followed by 14 significant aftershocks, eight of magnitude 5 and six of magnitude 4 in the period to midday today, New Zealand time.

Leave a Reply