Powerful earthquake strikes off eastern Papua New Guinea | Earthquakes News

Videos of the aftermath of the 7.6-magnitude quake show cracked roads and damaged buildings.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake has struck off the east coast of Papua New Guinea, causing damage to buildings and spreading panic among residents.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 61 kilometers (38 miles), about 67 kilometers (41 miles) from the eastern town of Kainantu on Sunday morning.

It issued a tsunami warning, but later said the threat was “now over”. It did happen, however, noting that there could still be “small sea level fluctuations in some coastal areas”.

There were no reports of casualties.

Papua New Guineans have shared photos and videos on social media of cracked roads, damaged buildings and cars, and items falling off supermarket shelves.

Video of the damage to a university in the eastern highland town of Goroka showed large cracks appearing in walls and falling window awnings during the quake.

Locals in Lae and Madang, closest to the epicenter, told AFP news agency that the quake was much stronger than previous quakes.

“It’s very strong, everything is like sitting on the sea – just floating,” said Hivi Apokore, a worker at Jais Aben Resort near Madang.

Earthquakes often occur in Papua New Guinea, located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity caused by friction between tectonic plates.

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked remote alpine regions of the country in 2018, killing more than 100 people and damaging thousands of homes.

In neighboring Indonesia in 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed 220,000 people across the region.

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