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7.5 magnitude quake jolts  Papua New Guinea; 26 major earthquakes in 5 months

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

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.

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Papua New Guinea Bans Facebook For a Month to Root Out ‘Fake Users’

The government is also aiming to enforce the Cyber Crime Act

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Facebook, video chat
Facebook unveils AI-powered video chat speakers amid privacy concerns. Pixabay

The Papua New Guinea government is planning to shut down Facebook for a month to understand users’ behaviour and safeguard them from fake news.

According to a report in The Post Courier on Monday, Communication Minister Sam Basil said the shutdown would enable the department and Papua New Guinea National Research Institute conduct research on how the social networking site is being used by users.

“The time will allow information to be collected to identify users that hide behind fake accounts, users that upload pornographic images, users that post false and misleading information on Facebook to be filtered and removed,” Basil was quoted as saying.

The effort is seen as to plug loopholes after the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica improperly shared personal data of of 87 million Facebook users.

The data was gathered via a quiz app “thisisyourdigitallife” developed by Aleksandr Kogan, then a psychology researcher with University of Cambridge, and his company Global Science Research (GSR) which pulled out Facebook users’ data in 2014-2015.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

According to Basil, the move will allow genuine people with real identities to use the social network responsibly.

Facebook was yet to comment on this development.

The government is also aiming to enforce the Cyber Crime Act.

Also Read: Hillary Clinton Wishes to Head the Facebook

“We cannot allow the abuse of Facebook to continue in the country. I will now work closely with the police for them to be properly trained and informed to fully enforce the Cyber Crime Act,” said Basil.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week apologised for the Cambridge Analytica data breach in front of the European Parliament (EU) leaders.

Zuckerberg stressed that the social networking giant is trying to plug loopholes across its services, including curbing fake news and political interference on its platform in the wake of upcoming elections globally, including in India. (IANS)

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