Strong quake hits Papua New Guinea

A 6.9 magnitude natural disaster has struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, triggering a tsunami warning for nearby coastlines.

"Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts".

The USGS said the quake, which was very shallow below the seabed and close to the coast, struck at 7.25am on Friday (2125 GMT on Thursday) and was centered 100 miles (162km) southwest of Rabaul.

Dellie Minding, a receptionist at the Rabaul Hotel in the east of New Britain, around 20 minutes from the coast, told Reuters that the quake was felt, with many guests running outside, but there was no damage.

So far, no major damage or injuries were reported, and no tsunami warning has been issued.

"We felt the natural disaster, everything was moving so we went out of the building", Dovon told Reuters.

The quake, which measured 5.9 on the richter scale hit at 16.06 (UTC), 56km WSW of Mendi, the provincial capital of the Southern Highlands Province.

Earlier on Monday, the US Geological Survey said a seven-magnitude quake struck off Papua New Guinea.

At least 100 people in the Enga province died in the quake on February 26, and massive landslides saw entire villages buried.

  • Jon Douglas