Earthquake strikes Australia
8.0 earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea; tsunami alert issued
An 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck in the sea off Papua New Guinea on Saturday night, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to caution that tsunamis are possible along some of the coasts in the South Pacific.
Many residents in the northern parts of the autonomous region of Bougainville sought higher ground after receiving warnings that tsunami waves were possible.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake that measured at magnitude-8.0 and at a depth of about 100 kilometers.
A nurse at Buka General Hospital in Bougainville said the quake was so strong it felt like the building that she was sleeping in would topple.
She said patients were being moved a few kilometres to higher ground.
Residents in other parts of Papua New Guinea, including the capital of Port Moresby and Kavieng in the northern tip of New Ireland island, said they had not felt the quake, and no evacuation plans were in place.
However, senior seismologist Dan Jacksa said Papua New Guinea and neighboring islands should be prepared for possible aftershocks following the powerful quake.
These types of quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates according to seismologist.