Monday, March 30, 2015

Tsunami warnings after earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning for vast swathes of the Pacific and as far north as Russia.

The magnitude-7.7 earthquake struck at a depth of 65 kilometres (40 miles), about 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of the town of Kokopo in northeastern Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said hazardous tsunami waves could hit coasts located within 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) of Kokopo, with waves between 1 to 3 metres (3 to 10 feet) possible for Papua New Guinea.

Farther afield, tsunami waves of less than 0.3 metres (1 foot) could hit other Pacific island nations, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Antarctica later Monday, the tsunami warning centre said. The Japan Meteorological Agency, however, said there was no tsunami risk to Japan from the quake.

Officials in the capital, Port Moresby, were working to contact their counterparts in the outer provinces, but there had been no reports of damage or injuries within an hour of the quake striking, said Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center. No one had reported seeing any tsunami waves, he added.

"The situation seems to be under control at this stage," he said.

The quake caused strong shaking and knocked items off shelves in Kokopo, but had not prompted any immediate reports of damage, said Chris McKee, assistant director of the Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby. A few people in the capital reported feeling the quake as well, he said.

By early afternoon, there were still no sightings of unusual wave activity and officials weren't sure if a tsunami had been generated, McKee said.

"If there was a tsunami generated, it would have already impacted nearby coastlines," he said.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the "Ring of Fire" -- an arc of earthquake and volcanic activity that stretches around the Pacific Rim.
Magnitude    Mw 7.5
Date time    2015-03-29 23:48:32.0 UTC
Location    4.75 S ; 152.62 E
Depth    40 km


    794 km NE of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea / pop: 283,733 / local time: 09:48:32.0 2015-03-30
59 km SE of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea / pop: 26,273 / local time: 09:48:32.0 2015-03-30 

1 comment:

  1. A series of strong earthquakes struck off the neighboring South Pacific Ocean states of Samoa and Tonga on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, just hours after a major tremor rattled Papua New Guinea to the west....

    A number of 6.8 magnitude quakes struck southwest of the Samoan capital Apia, in waters between the two island states of Tonga and Samoa.

    Residents in Samoa told Reuters there were no reports of damage and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat.

    The quakes came just hours after a major 7.5 quake struck of the coast of Papua New Guinea coast, near the town of Rabaul, in the country's northeast.

    A tsunami warning was issued soon after the PNG quake, though the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no destructive, Pacific-wide tsunami was expected. The warning was later canceled...............


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