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Last Updated: Friday, 9 September 2005, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Powerful quake recorded off PNG
A powerful earthquake has struck off the coast of eastern Papua New Guinea.

The 7.3-magnitude quake hit near the New Ireland region of the country, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and other earthquake monitors said.

A USGS spokesperson said no damage had been reported so far, while Japan's Meteorological Agency said the quake was not likely to trigger a tsunami.

Papua New Guinea is regularly hit by quakes and seismic activity, lying on the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire'.

The focus of the quake was 96km (60 miles) underground in the New Ireland region, 40 km (25 miles) east-south-east of Taron, New Ireland, and 870km (540 miles) north-east of the capital, Port Moresby, the USGS reported.

It occurred at 1626 local time (0726 GMT), USGS said.

While the quake was extremely powerful, there was little danger of tsunami because its epicentre was very deep, said Shinjiro Tari, an official at the seismological department at Japan's Meteorological Agency, which runs a tsunami warning system in the Pacific.

In 1998, a tsunami sparked by an earthquake killed at least 2,000 people when it struck the north coast of Papua New Guinea's main island.

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