1 Aug 2011

6.8 quake off PNG coast

3:13 pm on 1 August 2011

Papua New Guinea has been jolted by a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake but there are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The US Geological Survey said the quake occurred at a depth of 16km, some 131km east of Wewak and 706km north of the capital Port Moresby on Sunday.

No tsunami alert has been issued.

Papua New Guinea, which is mired in poverty despite rich mineral deposits, sits on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

In 1997, a giant tsunami caused by an undersea earthquake or a landslide killed more than 3500 people near Aitapi on the country's northwest coast.