Natural disaster of 7.5 magnitude strikes Papua New Guinea

Powerful earthquake rattles remote Papua New Guinea

At least 13 aftershocks with a magnitude of 5.0 or more rattled the area throughout the day, according to USGS data, but no tsunami warnings were issued.

A magnitude 7.5 quake struck in the middle of Papua New Guinea on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The area lies along an quake zone known as the Papuan Fold Belt, which is the fault responsible for the mountain range that forms the spine of the nation, he said.

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The magnitude 7.5 quake struck at about 6:44 a.m. Hawaii time about 96 miles east-northeast of Lake Murray at a depth of 21 miles, according to a preliminary report by the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties and the country's disaster management authority did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Many people in the region lead subsistence lifestyles, and homes constructed with local materials would likely hold up fairly well, McKee said. More concerning was any heavy masonry used in industrial construction, he said.

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The Geological Survey said there was no danger of a tsunami.

It was centered 47 miles (75 km) southwest of Panguna, Papua New Guinea.

Earthquakes are common in PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

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Part of PNG's northern coast was devastated in 1998 by a tsunami, generated by a 7.0 quake, which killed about 2,200 people.

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