Two escape landslide after 7.9 Bougainville quake

2:16 pm on 23 January 2017

Reports emerging from Bougainville indicate a number of landslides after yesterday's magnitude 7.9 earthquake.

A powerful but deep earthquake has struck west of Papua New Guinea.

A powerful, but deep, earthquake struck Bougainville. Photo: USGS

The quake in the autonomous Papua New Guinea region struck about 40 kilometres west of Panguna at a depth of 136 kilometres.

The quake was strongly felt around the region and triggered tsunami warnings for coastal parts.

Officer with the Bougainville Police Mark Andersons said a tsunami did not eventuate.

But he said some landslides occurred in the Panguna area, including at Nagovis.

"Two men were covered with soil, but they were fortunate to dig themselves out from the ground, and they were taken to hospital. But there was no deaths."

While provincial authorities are still gauging the extent of damages from the quake, social media dispatches from Bougainville indicate that numerous homes sustained damages and that various sealed roads have been cracked.

Bougainville is in PNG's Niugini islands region which is renown for frequent earthquakes as it sits on plate boundaries that form part of the seismically active Pacific Rim of Fire.

Another magnitude 7.9 quake struck about 50 kilometres off the coast of New Ireland province, close to Bougainville, a month ago.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs