Quake off Papua New Guinea sparks local tsunami warning

A powerful natural disaster struck Papua New Guinea early Friday, one month after an even stronger quake killed 125 people on the island nation.

This is the same area that last week's big quake struck.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Hawaii said the magnitude 7.2 quake may have caused small changes in the sea locally but the danger had passed within about an hour or so.

The quake's epicentre was 156 kilometres south-south-west of Kokopo in East New Britain province.

So far, no major damage or injuries were reported, and no tsunami warning has been issued.

"We felt the natural disaster, everything was moving so we went out of the building", the receptionist told Reuters.

The natural disaster had a magnitude of 6.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Rabaul lies in the shadow of Mount Tavurvur, an active volcano that destroyed the town in 1994 during a severe eruption.

On that note, it is pertinent to mention that the country is still recovering from a magnitude 7.5 quake on 26 February.

The tremor also forced the relatively poor nation's largest revenue source, a natural gas project led by Exxon Mobil, to shut down while damage is assessed at its facilities.

  • Rogelio Becker