6.1 Quake hits Papua New Guinea

SYDNEY (AFP) – Papua New Guinea was rattled by a strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake Monday, seismologists said, but the deep tremor was unlikely to have caused damage or sparked a tsunami.

The quake struck at a depth of 144 kilometres (90 miles), 40 kilometres southeast of Arawa in Bougainville at 11.14 am (0114 GMT), the United States Geological Survey said.

No tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and Australian seismologists said damage was unlikely given the depth.

“It’s very deep so we don’t think there’s any danger of any tsunami,” a Geoscience Australia spokeswoman told AFP.

“(The extent of damage) depends on the structures, but it’s probably not too much.”

Papua New Guinea, which is mired in poverty despite rich mineral deposits, sits on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates and quakes are frequent.

But large quakes often cause little damage in the mountainous nation, which has remote and sparsely populated areas.

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