From: Reuters
Published January 1, 2008 05:09 PM

Strong quakes jolt Papua New Guinea

SYDNEY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two strong earthquakes, a magnitude 6.2 quickly followed by a smaller aftershock, struck northeast Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, but no damage was reported.

The first quake was centered 55 miles north of the coastal town of Lae at a depth of 29.8 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. A nearby aftershock at magnitude 5.5 struck at 1913 GMT.

USGS earthquake analyst Don Blakeman said the quakes were unlikely to have caused a tsunami because they struck on land and were not powerful enough.

Police in Lae said there had been no damage or injuries from the earthquake and no change in sea levels.


"I was at work last night and felt the earthquake," a police officer said by telephone.

"There was no damage or injuries. There was no reports of waves. It was not really big."

The region is sparsely populated and is prone to earthquakes.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler, additional reporting by Michael Perry in Sydney, editing by Chris Wilson)

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