Very strong M7.0 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea — hundreds of homes destroyed, at least 4 people killed

m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 f

A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.0 hit New Guinea, Papua New Guinea at 18:04 UTC on April 2, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 62.6 km (38.9 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.1 at a depth of 73 km (45 miles).

The epicenter was located 97 km (60 miles) SW of Wewak, and 210 km (130 miles) NW of Mount Hagen, New Guinea, PNG.

133 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 333 000 strong and 651 000 moderate.

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 and landslides that might have contributed to losses.

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Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 bg2
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 usgs epe
m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 usgs epet

Selected cities exposed

m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 usgs sce

Regional seismicity

m7.0 earthquake papua new guinea april 2 2023 emsc rs


10:14 UTC, April 4

Reports received on Tuesday, April 4, mention 4 fatalities and 300 destroyed houses along the Sepik River region.

However, Felix Taranu, a seismologist with the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory, told Reuters on Tuesday that there are unconfirmed reports of further deaths and several hundred more homes destroyed.1

Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Centre reported the quake as M7.2 with the epicenter in a remote and swampy part of East Sepik province.


1 At least four dead, hundreds of homes destroyed in Papua New Guinea quake – Reuters – April 4, 2023

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google


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