PNG quake so strong it was felt in Qld
A strong 7.2-magnitude earthquake has hit off Papua New Guinea, the US Geological Survey said.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says it was felt all the way in far North Queensland.
It poses no tsunami threat to Australia.
The quake struck Papua New Guinea at a depth of 127 kilometers, and was felt in the capital Port Moresby.
Its epicentre was 33 kilometers from the town of Bulolo at 2119 GMT according to the agency. It has a population of some 16,000. The nearest population centre is Lae, Morobe, 66km from the epicentre, with 76,000 residents.
The fire department in Lae said no one had yet called in to report damage or injuries so far following the quake.
Social media photos out of Lae show stock strewn over the floors of supermarkets and clinics, though there appears to be little structural damage.
This was a big one that lasted for a bit in Lae. I only caught the tail end of it on film but it was big. You can hear it. Got stuff thrown around in the house and the power is now cut off. pic.twitter.com/qwuE5obqzL— Christopher Lam (@chrislampng) May 6, 2019
The USGS automated assessment predicts a 65 per cent chance of zero fatalities, and just 4 per cent odds for there being up to one hundred. Economic losses are expected to be minimal.
Because of the depth of the epicenter, there is no tsunami threat, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
Christopher Lam was in Lae, about 100km north of Bulolo, said the rumble was audible.
"It was big. You can hear it. Got stuff thrown around in the house and the power is now cut off," he tweeted, alongside a video that showed his home rattling.
According to the Richter Scale, a 7-magnitude quake is equivalent to the detonation of 20 billion kilograms of dynamite and can cause serious damage to building foundations and underground pipes.
More to come