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Magnitude-7.9 earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea, triggers tsunami alerts

January 22, 2017; 12:28 AM

A magnitude-7.9 rocked Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea on Sunday afternoon, local time.

The quake struck 25 miles (41 km) west-northwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea and was fairly deep at 85 miles (136 km km) below the earth's surface, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

papua new guinea

A strong earthquake shook Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea on Sunday afternoon, local time. (Image/USGS)


The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) intially warned that there was the threat for dangerous tsunami waves in many nearby islands. The tsunami threat has since diminished.

"I suspect that because of the great depth of the earthquake, there was probably no significant tsunami," Chris McKee, assistant director of Papua New Guinea Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby, told the Associated Press.

The USGS initially reported the magnitude of the quake at 8.0.

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There are no immediate reports of injuries, deaths or damage.

Papua New Guinea is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire" which is an area notorious for significant earthquakes.

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