A alert for “hazardous tidal waves” was given briefly for coastal areas within 300 kms (186.41 miles) from Wau in the northeast of Papua New Guinea after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the area, the United States. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirmed that. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck at 12.50pm local time at a depth of 85 km (52 miles) and struck offshore 18 kms (11 miles) east-southeast of Wau.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially released a tsunami alert but said the danger had passed about one hour later. There were no immediate reports of the quake’s casualties or damage, initially reported at 7.3 but later modified, and the PNG National Disaster Center refused to comment until a briefing had been issued.
Wau is an inland abandoned gold mining town with a population of about 5,000, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) southwest of the second largest city of PNG, Lae. A individual at Lae City Hotel who answered the telephone said they had felt the quake but no property damage was reported. “It’s normal, the earthquake, here. The staff is okay. They just kept on going,” the person said. The hotel was fully booked but all the guests were out at the time of the quake, the person added.