9 Sep 2002

Two reported dead following earthquake in PNG

12:10 pm on 9 September 2002

A earthquake measuring 7-point-6 on the richter scale has hit the north coast of Papua New Guinea.

The quake occured just before 5 o'clock local time and was centred around 100 kilometres off the north coast of PNG.

The PNG National Broadcasting Commission has reported at least two people have been killed.

A seismologist from the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Mark Leonard, says East Sepik province has already had it's share of seismic problems.

"It occurred about a hundred kilometres away from where the Aitape earthquake occurred in 1998 that caused the tsunami that killed two thousand people. This earthquake has been less destructive than that one. It did cause a small tsunami of about one metre, and was widely felt in PNG but at this stage we don't have any reports of any significant damage."

Mark Leonard says he expects large aftershocks to hit the area for the next two days.