KOKOPO, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (AFP) -A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Tuesday (May 14), the US Geological Survey said, with hazardous tsunami waves possible, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
The shallow quake occurred 44km north-east of Kokopo in PNG, the USGS said.
“It was massive, absolutely massive. Very scary,” Megan Martin, the managing director of the Ropopo Plantation resort in Kokopo, told AFP. “There does not appear to be any damage, but we are out checking.”
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said: “Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters… hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000km of the earthquake epicentre.”
“Government agencies responsible for threatened coastal areas should take action to inform and instruct any coastal populations at risk in accordance with their own evaluation procedures and the level of threat.”
The reported epicentre lies within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of regular seismic activity. In February last year, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Papua New Guinea killed 150 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.