Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits New Britain region, Papua New Guinea

Strong and shallow M6.1 earthquake hits New Britain region, Papua New Guinea

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit the New Britain region, Papua New Guinea at 19:08 UTC on August 25, 2020 (05:08 LT, August 26). The agency is reporting a depth of 25.2 km (15.6 miles). EMSC is reporting it as M6.0 at a depth of 60 km (37.3 miles).

The epicenter was located 137 km (84.9 miles) SSW of Kokopo (population 26 273), 189.6 km (117.5 miles) E of Kimbe (population 18 847), and 344.9 km (213.8 miles) SSE of Kavieng (population 14 490), Papua New Guinea.

There are about 66 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

5 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 14 000 moderate, 221 000 light, and 321 000 weak.

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.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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