Strong Quake, New Guinea

A strong, deep earthquake struck eastern New Guinea shortly after 11 o’clock this morning.

Sunday 18th April 2010

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck 30 km east of Lae in eastern New Guinea at 11:15 this morning New Zealand time. The quake, which was 66 km deep according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was centred 215 km north-east of Kerema, Papua New Guinea (300 km north of the capital Port Moresby).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has not issued a bulletin for this event.

Geoscience Australia reports the quake as magnitude 6.5 at the greater depth of 90 km. The epicentre is calculated to be a little further off-shore from the position calculated by the USGS. They estimate that it would have caused damage up to 60 km from the epicentre and would have been felt up to 750 km away.

A 60 km-deep magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck 100 km north-north-west of Lae at 6:09 this morning, New Zealand time.

Today’s earthquake occurred in an area known as the Bismarck Microplate which is sandwiched between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. Last Sunday a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck further east on the same fault zone. That quake was located 100 km west-south-west of Kira Kira, San Cristobal, in the Solomon Islands. Initially thought to be about magnitude 7.1 or 7.2, further analysis by USGS seismologists has since revised the earthquake’s strength downward.

[Compiled from data supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia and their contributing agencies.]

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