Powerful earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea

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An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck Papua New Guinea on Sunday, reportedly injuring people, damaging property and spreading widespread panic among residents.

The quake, 80 km (49.7 miles) deep, hit the eastern Papua New Guinea region at about 9:45 am local time (2345 GMT Saturday), but the shaking was felt as far as the capital of Port Moresby, about 500 km (310 miles) away.

The US tsunami warning system issued a tsunami warning after the quake but it later said the threat had passed.

There was no immediate tsunami threat to Australia, its Bureau of Meteorology said.

Papua New Guinea residents took to the social media sharing images and videos of cracked roads, damaged buildings and cars, and items falling off supermarket shelves.

The extent of damage was not immediately clear as the location was remote.

The government was expected to give more details later in the day.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

A magnitude 7.5 quake rocked PNG's remote mountainous highlands in 2018, killing more 100 people and damaging thousands of homes.

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