09:12 18 April 2013
Papua New Guinea’s northern coast was shaken by a strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, 08:55 local time with an epicenter 19km east of Aitape town. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake lasted for three minutes.
No tsunami warning was issued and there are no reports of serious damage or injuries as of time of writing.
In 1998, the coastal town of Aitape was devastated by a powerful tsunami, which killed more than 2,000 people. Right after the recent earthquake, eyewitnesses said that several people sought higher ground for fear that the 1998 incident will happen again.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that strong quake such as this one could sometimes generate local tsunami waves within 100K of the epicenter.
In a statement, it said: “Authorities in the region should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action.”
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