M6.0 earthquake hits New Britain Region at intermediate depth, Papua New Guinea

M6.0 earthquake hits New Britain Region at intermediate depth, Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at 19:11 UTC on January 7, 2020 (05:11 LT, January 8). The agency is reporting a depth of 116.8 km (72 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 150 km (93 miles). This is the third M6+ earthquake in the past 24 hours; after M6.2 earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia; and M6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico.

The epicenter was located 132 km (82 miles) ENE of Kimbe, 143 km (89 miles) SW of Kokopo and 290 km (180 km) S of Kavieng, Papua New Guinea.

There are about 97 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

475 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking.

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 that might have contributed to losses.

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: Google, TW/SAM


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