Strong and shallow M6.3 earthquake hits New Ireland region, Papua New Guinea

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A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.3 hit New Ireland region, Papua New Guinea at 10:36 UTC on November 30, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting the same magnitude and depth.

The epicenter was located about 113 km (70 miles) SSE of Kavieng (population 14 490) and 153 km (95 miles) NW of Kokopo (population 26 273), Papua New Guinea.

There are about 40 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

The quake was followed by three M5.0 earthquakes at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles) at 10:52, 11:09 and 11:14 UTC.

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 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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