A seismic jolt measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale reverberated through northeastern Papua New Guinea on Saturday, according to data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The earthquake, which struck at approximately 7:30 pm (0830 GMT), originated from a depth of 53 kilometers (33 miles). Fortunately, there have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The epicenter of this substantial quake was located about 56 kilometers southeast of the coastal town of Madang. In a somewhat unsettling sequence of events, an aftershock of equal magnitude followed just minutes later, occurring off the coast of Madang, as confirmed by the USGS.
Papua New Guinea is no stranger to seismic activity, with earthquakes being relatively common in the region. Thankfully, these occurrences tend not to result in widespread damage.
This is partly because the majority of the country’s landmass, outside of major urban areas, is sparsely populated. Furthermore, many of the structures in these less densely inhabited regions are constructed from wood.
However, it is worth noting that certain earthquakes can prove to be far more destructive. In April of this year, a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck a remote, jungle-covered area of the Pacific island nation, claiming the lives of at least seven people.
The earthquake’s epicenter was situated near the Karawari area, and it destroyed around 180 homes.
Despite the relative resilience of Papua New Guinea’s population and infrastructure, the threat of earthquakes continues to loom over the region, reminding residents of the need for vigilance and preparedness in the face of such natural disasters.