PNG PM urges vigilance following big earthquake

9:15 pm on 5 May 2015

Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Peter O'Neill, has been briefed by the Governor of East New Britain, Ereman Tobaining, on this afternoon's large earthquake in the region.

The US Geological survey says a 7.5 magnitude quake struck 130 kilometres south/southwest of East New britain's capital Kokopo at a depth of 42 kilometres.

Governor Tobaining has advised the Prime Minister that there are no reports of damage in the area and the Provincial Disaster Office is monitoring the situation.

Prime Minister O'Neill has directed Defence, National Disaster and response personnel to be on alert should there be further seismic activity.

There's been a swarm of significant earthquakes in the area over the past week, and Prime Minister O'Neill has called on local people to be vigilant in taking precautions when they feel an earthquake of any magnitude and educating children about preparation and response.

He also made special note of the threat to the islands region from tsunamis.

East New Britain shoreline, Papua New Guinea.

East New Britain shoreline, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

A tsunami warning was issued after today's big quake but the threat has largely passed.

Meanwhile the New Britain region has felt a series of aftershocks throughout the day.