19 Jul 2010

Two major earthquakes in PNG and concerns over possible tsunami

5:33 am on 19 July 2010

Two big earthquakes of around magnitude 7 have struck Papua New Guinea.

The Pacific Tsunami warning centre says sea level readings indicate a tsunami may have been generated and that it could have had a destructive impact along the coasts near the epicentre of the quake.

The earthquakes were close to PNG's East New Britain province, but there are no immediate reports of damage and neighbouring Indonesia has lifted a tsunami warning.

Indonesia's quake agency issued its warning after the second quake, of magnitude 7.1, hit East New Britain at a depth of 26 kilometres.

The first, deeper earthquake, measured by the U.S. Geological Service at magnitude 7.2, struck 117 kilometres east of Kandrian on New Britain island .

The Tsunami Centre is also warning of possible sea level changes in the area

PNG Emergency Services say the quakes were felt in the port town of Kimbe.

Emergency services in Port Moresby said they will have a better idea of the impact in the morning.