6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Papua New Guinea

March 29, 2018 Updated: March 29, 2018

A significant earthquake hit Papua New Guinea, triggering a tsunami threat for the Pacific Island nation.

A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the New Britain island on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Reuters reported that it triggered a tsunami warning.

The shallow quake struck close to the coast, around 100 miles (162 km) southwest of Rabaul, a much more remote region than the country’s mountainous mainland highlands where a magnitude 7.5 tremor struck on 26 February, killing 100 people.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) issued a threat warning for the country’s coastline located within 300 km of the quake’s epicentre, but later advised that the threat had passed.

Dellie Minding, a receptionist at the Rabaul Hotel in the east of New Britain, around 20 minutes from the coast, told Reuters that the earthquake was felt, with many guests running outside, but there was no damage.

At the Rapopo Plantation Resort on the coast, receptionist May Dovon said she had not heard of any casualties or damage.

“We felt the earthquake, everything was moving so we went out of the building,” Dovon told Reuters. “Nothing was damaged.

Papua New Guinea is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an earthquake hotspot.

The Pacific “Ring of Fire,” meanwhile is in the basin of the Pacific Ocean with some 450 volcanoes. About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes strike along the Ring of Fire.

Earlier this month, it was reported that dozens of people died in an earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea in late February.

The Red Cross said, “It’s very difficult to get accurate information because of damage to roads and the remoteness and ruggedness of the area, but it’s thought that 143,000 people have been affected and 17,000 displaced.”

At least 100 people were found dead in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province, where massive landslides engulfed towns after the quake struck.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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