16 May 2011

Quake near PNG prompts local tsunami alert

9:09 am on 16 May 2011

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck beneath the sea off Papua New Guinea on Monday prompting a local tsunami alert.

The quake hit at 4.37am local time, at a depth of 43 kilometres, about 120 kilometres west of the island of Bougainville, according to the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, said in a statement that earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100km of the earthquake epicentre.

But the centre said there was no risk of a destructive widespread tsunami from the quake, which was also 248 kilometres from Chirovanga in the Solomon Islands.