Strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea


World, Oceania

Just two months ago, a 7.5 quake earthquake struck the same highlands area killing 125 people.

The earthquake in February killed 125 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. (Photo: Representational)

Sydney: A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the highlands of Papua New Guinea on Saturday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, as the region struggles to recover from a massive 7.5 quake only two months ago.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury. The quake was 82 km southwest of Porgera in Enga province and 47 km deep, said the USGS. Earlier European quake monitor EMSC reported it at 6.5 magnitude and only two km (1.2 miles) deep, but later scaled it down.

The earthquake happened just two months after a 7.5 quake struck the same highlands area, killing 125 people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

February's quake also damaged mining and power infrastructure.
Some of the recourse companies in the region, such as Oil Search, are still about eight weeks away from full operations.

The United Nations estimates that some 270,000 people are in need of immediate assistance and 43,116 people remain displaced in 44 locations and care centres.

The United Nations pulled out its aid workers just two days before the latest quake due to violence from residents. They have vowed to return once it is safe to do so.

Quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.