Strong and shallow M6.2 earthquake hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea


A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.2 hit New Britain, Papua New Guinea at 08:21 UTC on July 15, 2019. The agency is reporting a depth of 59 km (36 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.2 at a depth of 80 km (50 miles).

The epicenter was located 24 km (15 miles) N of Kandrian (population 1 014), 81 km (50 miles) SW of Kimbe (population 18 847) and 295 km (183 miles) ENE of Lae (population 76 255), Papua New Guinea.

There are 140 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Image credit: Google, TW/SAM

5 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 42 000 moderate and 158 000 light.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) and unreinforced brick masonry construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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