In a latest incident of seismic activity, Papua New Guinea was hit by a major 7.5 magnitude earthquake today morning.The epicenter of the earthquake was at a depth of 10 Km at 5.6 degrees south latitude and 152.1 degrees east longitude, according to the US Geological Survey.
It was followed by a 5.9 M aftershock 10 minutes after the primary seismic activity. As the epicenter of the quake was in the ocean, there is a possibility of tsunami. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) has issued a prompt tsunami warning saying, “hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake epicenter.”
The first warning issued by PTWC estimated that destructive waves could hit the Australian city of Cairns at 5:10 UTC and Brisbane at 6:07 UTC. But, the revised warning says that waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meter above tidal level were expected only on some coasts of Papua New Guinea.
This year, the planet has faced 26 significant earthquakes according to the US Geological Survey, with 19 quakes touching 6 M and above.
A massive quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted Hawaii residents were evacuating from their homes following a volcanic eruption that has not showed any signs of slowing down, authorities said.
The temblor that struck 16 km southwest of Leilani Estates at 12.32 p.m., on Friday, was one of more than 110 earthquakes that hit the island since the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, erupted on Wednesday, reports CNN.
US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Jana Pursley said there have been 119 earthquakes on the Big Island since Thursday afternoon.
The USGS said Friday’s 6.9 quake was the most powerful on the island since 1975.
About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.
The quake has knocked out power to residents who were already dealing with mandatory evacuation orders, molten rock and high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.
The situation wasn’t getting any better, Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters on Friday afternoon.
“Activity continues. It doesn’t look like it is slowing down,” CNN quoted Magno as saying.
He said five volcanic vents have opened and indicated that at least one house and another structure were destroyed by lava.
It is highly unusual to see the vents so far from Kilauea volcano, he said.
Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.
Harry Kim, Mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents, including those who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings.
“We have to work with them as to how we are going to minimise (the inconveniences) as best as possible,” he said.