A powerful earthquake struck Papua New Guinea triggering a tsunami alert for the country and for the nearby Solomon Islands.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.5 and was located 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Kokopo. It was centered at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), it said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a threat of tsunami: “Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1000 KM of the earthquake epicenter.”
They later added: “A tsunami threat exists for parts of the Pacific located closer to the earthquake.”
Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth’s surface, but the USGS estimated that damage and injuries would be low because of the sparse population.
Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, to the east of Indonesia.
It sits on the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.
Earthquakes in Papua New Guinea area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction since it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire hotspot of seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.
A previous magnitude 7.5 earthquake in the nation’s central region killed at least 125 people and forced another 35,000 from their homes. That quake hit areas that are remote and undeveloped, and assessments about the scale of the damage and injuries were slow to filter out.
Its remote terrain means it often takes several days for information about damage from quakes to reach officials and aid agencies.
The Biblical prophecies (Matthew 24, Luke 21) foretell that earthquakes will be a sign of the Last Days indicating the coming end of the age and the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ.
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