A major earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale hit Papua New Guinea on Sunday, as reported by the US Geological Survey. A tsunami warning was issued post the earthquake, but later the warning was cancelled. It had warned that waves of up to 1-3 feet can hit the islands surrounding the epicenter of the earthquake. The tsunami warning was for coastal areas of Papua New Guinea and the neighboring Solomon Islands.
The quake was recorded 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Panguna on Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville Island at a depth of 153 kilometers at 3:30pm local time (0430 GMT), the US Geological Survey said. There have not been any reports of any damage or lives being lost, since the area is sparsely populated.
Earlier also, Papua New Guinea has recorded several major earthquakes, as it is located on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where the frequency of earthquakes is quite high due to constant shifting of tectonic plates. “Even though it is quite deep at 150 kilometers, because it is such a large earthquake, it will produce shaking on the surface,” said Geoscience Australia seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos. Officials in Australia and New Zealand have assessed the potential tsunami situation and have assured that there is no such threat to their coastlines.