Powerful 7.5 Earthquake Hits in Papua New Guinea

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck Papua New Guinea, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate indications of injuries or damage. Residents in the area reported that the quake shook homes, rattled furniture, knocked items off shelves and tables and cut off power, according to news network EMTV.

A​ tsunami alert was issued for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands but was later cancelled.

The epicenter of the quake was about 28 miles northeast of Kokopo, in New Britain province. The city is on a smaller island northeast of the main island and about 495 miles from the the capital of Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” named for its active volcanoes and earthquakes. About 90 percent of Earth’s quakes happen along this 25,000-mile horseshoe that loops from South America to Europe and back down to the coast off Australia.

A magnitude 7. 2 quake struck the country’s main island on May 7, but no injuries or damage were reported.

In the past century, 36 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or larger have been reported within 150 miles of the epicenter of today’s quake. Three of those were magnitude 8.0 or larger, including one in November 2000 that triggered landslides and at least one death, and left thousands homeless.

Last year, a magnitude 7.5 quake in another part of Papua New Guinea killed at least 145 people.

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