Strong M7.0 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

Strong M7.0 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.0 hit Papua New Guinea at 02:50 UTC (12:50 LT) on July 17, 2020. The agency is reporting a depth of 79.8 km (49.6 miles). EMSC is reporting the same magnitude and depth.

The epicenter was located 114 km (70.7 miles) N of Kokoda, 114.4 km (70.9 miles) NNW of Popondetta, 127.7 km (79.2 miles) ESE of Wau and 142.1 km (88.1 miles) ESE of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea.

There are about 72 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

20 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 96 000 strong, 482 000 moderate and 2 099 000 light.

The forecast model results show only very small sea-level fluctuations, PTWC said. 

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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 tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to losses.

Little or no landsliding is expected as a result of this earthquake, but some landslides could have occurred in highly susceptible areas.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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