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Powerful 7.3 quake hits off Papua New Guinea: USGS

The quake hit at a depth of 54 kilometres at around the same distance from the town of Panguna on Bougainville island.

Picture for representational purpose only. (USGS) Picture for representational purpose only. (USGS)

A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Friday, US officials said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was sounded.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 54 kilometres at around the same distance from the town of Panguna on Bougainville island.

Geoscience Australia measured the quake at 7.4 magnitude and said the tremor, which hit close to the neighbouring Solomon Islands, was estimated to be in the “shallow” range.

“They would have gotten a strong shake across the island, and there’s the possibility of some damage,” David Jepsen from Geoscience Australian told AFP.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out the threat of a destructive tsunami but Jepsen cautioned that there was a “possibility of a local tsunami”.

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