Deep 6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 struck the mainland of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday morning, seismologists and residents said, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

The earthquake, which struck at 7:26 a.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 67 kilometers (42 miles) southwest of Angoram, which is located in East Sepik Province in the country’s northwest. It struck at a depth of 66 miles (107 kilometers), making it a relatively deep earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude of Wednesday’s earthquake at 6.5, down from an initial estimate of 6.6. It said the earthquake was likely felt across the region, possibly as far away as the Indonesian part of Papua.

Computer models from the USGS estimated that as many as 6.9 million people could have felt the earthquake, including 236,000 people who may have experienced “moderate” shaking. “There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage,” the USGS said.

Because the earthquake struck on land, there is no threat of a tsunami.

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