At least two dead in earthquake

BA 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed at least five people in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea on Sunday. The earthquake occurred 67 kilometers from the city of Kainantu and around 480 kilometers from the capital Port Moresby at a depth of 61 kilometers, according to the US Seismological Survey (USGS). A USGS tsunami warning has been lifted.

The earthquake was felt as far as Port Moresby, the capital, 480 kilometers away. According to MP Kessy Sawang, two people died in remote mountain villages. At least four other people were flown to hospitals with serious injuries. There is "considerable damage" and buried people, a village was literally divided in two. Several people are homeless.

Three miners were buried alive in nearby Wau, according to operator Koranga Alluvial Mining.

cracks in the streets

Prime Minister James Marape described the earthquake as "massive" and called on people to exercise caution. According to him, the exact extent of the damage was not initially known. However, he assumes that the damage will be less than in a quake in 2018, which is estimated to have killed 150 people.

The region that was particularly hard hit by the tremors is characterized by jungle, is difficult to reach, has insufficient communication networks and is neglected by state authorities. Airlines and groups of missionaries participated in air rescue of injured people.

Residents from places near the epicenter spoke of severe tremors that caused cracks in streets and damaged house facades. Power outages and damage to buildings were reported in parts of the country north of Australia. Images from a university in the eastern city of Goroka showed large cracks in the walls and window awnings falling out.

Papua New Guinea is located on what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often occur there. In neighboring Indonesia, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake triggered a tsunami in Christmas 2004 that killed around 220,000 people in the entire region, around 170,000 of them in Indonesia.

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