Aftershock of 6.2 magnitude hits off eastern Papua New Guinea

A magnitude 7.0 quake struck the southwestern Pacific island of Papua New Guinea on Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The original quake's center was recorded around 77 miles east of Kimbe, a town in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, which has a population of just over 27,000. It was strong enough to issue a tsunami warning.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned hazardous tsunami waves were possible in coastal areas 300km from the epicentre.

Chris McKee, assistant director at PNG's Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby, said the quake was probably less intense than initial reports suggested. The PNG natural disaster was followed by three aftershocks of between 5.7 and 6.2 magnitude.

It was felt in Denpasar, the capital city of Bali, a tourist island where the worldwide monetary Fund and the world Bank hold their annual meeting.

Tremors were felt in the neighbouring regions, while an aftershock measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was felt at the islands at 11:14 am (local time), according to the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk seismological station.

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. It caused massive panic and even prompted some residents to left the capital of Bali, Densapar.

Two smaller tremors struck the region immediately before and after the main natural disaster.

The latest quake came on the same day when the Indonesian authorities planned to conclude the search for victims of the quake-tsunami that struck its Sulawesi Island on September 28.

The epicenter was located at the depth of 39.5 kilometers.

Vanessa Coleman