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M7.5 quake jolts Papua New Guinea, Tsunami warning issued

14 May 2019

A powerful magnitude-7.5 quake rattled Papua New Guinea Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It later said the tsunami threat had largely passed and no waves had been observed, but that there were no sea level gauges in the area for measurement.

The U.S. Geological Survey meanwhile recorded the magnitude of the quake at 5.5, which struck off the coast of Kokopo. The temblor was centered at about 6 miles, a shallow depth.

A strong quake in Papua New Guinea triggers a tsunami warning there and for the Solomon Islands.

But the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and GNS Science say the natural disaster, which happened at 12.58am on Wednesday, New Zealand time, did not pose a tsunami threat to New Zealand.

A tsunami alert was issued for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

A short time later, it said it had assessed the quake with the assistance of science advisors, and "the initial assessment is that the natural disaster is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will affect New Zealand".

Tsunami waves between 1 to 3 feet are possible for some coasts of Papua New Guinea.

There are regular earthquakes in the country, which sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire - a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

The quake, which struck at 11:58 p.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered in water just off New Ireland island, about 44 kilometers (27 miles) northeast of Kokopo on the island of New Britain.

M7.5 quake jolts Papua New Guinea, Tsunami warning issued