Ring of fire ROCKED: 5.8m earthquake hits Papua New Guinea as scores of shocks recorded

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
By Paul Martin

A STRONG earthquake has rocked Papua New Guinea – putting the Pacific Ring of Fire on red alert after 32 other sizeable quakes hit the region during the last 24 hours.

Wed, Jan 31, 2018

The earthquake measured 5.8 magnitude and struck an area near the town of Lae, around 170 miles from the busy city of Port Moresby.

The Papa New Guinea earthquake is not expected to have caused serious damage but the US Geological Society did warn many buildings in the area are vulnerable to quakes.

They said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction.

“The predominant vulnerable building types are informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) and unreinforced brick masonry construction.”

They said the towns of Lae, home to 76,000 people, and Bulolo, home to 16,000, experienced light shaking.

A further 350,000 people experienced weak shaking further from the epicentre. No tsunami watch or warning was issued for the earthquake, which struck at a depth of 45 miles at just before midday.

It is just the latest earthquake measuring 2.5 magnitude to have struck the pacific ring of fire over the past 24 hours.

Last night a 5.3 quake rocked the nearby Solomon Islands, while a 5.3 quake also struck Indonesia causing some concern in built-up areas.

Further north, two earthquakes struck Japan, first a 5.0 quake near Shizunai and then a slightly smaller 4.8 quake near Oarai.

Earthquakes also rattled the west coast of America and Canada during the last 24 hours, with the Gulf of Alaska rocked by 12 separate earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 4.0.

This comes just a week after a massive 8.0 magnitude quake caused evacuations in Alaska and tsunami watches along the entire west coast of America and parts of Mexico.

Further down the coast, California was hit by four mid-strength earthquakes, along with a 4.5 quake in Nicaragua.

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