A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck beneath the sea off Papua New Guinea this morning, US seismologists said, but there was no threat of a subsequent tsunami.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the quake, which hit at 4.37am AEST at a depth of 43 kilometres, about 120 kilometres west of the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.
“Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100km of the earthquake epicentre,” the tsunami warning centre said in a statement.
The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no threat to Australia.
Papua New Guinea sits on the Pacific “ring of fire”, a hot spot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.
A giant tsunami in 1997, caused by an undersea earthquake or landslide, killed more than 3500 people near Aitapi, on the northwest coast of mainland Papua New Guinea.
In 2007 a tsunami after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomon Islands and left thousands homeless.