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Strong earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6,7 rocked eastern Papua New Guinea on Thursday, causing some damage and plunging parts of the coastal city of Lae into darkness, officials and witnesses said.

The quake hit just before 6.48pm local time (8.48am GMT) with the epicentre about 400km north of the capital, Port Moresby, and 100km north of Lae, the United States Geological Survey said in a statement.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said no tsunami warning was issued.

Larry George, a manager of the City Mission charity hostel in Lae, said the quake was the biggest many long-term residents had felt there.

”It emptied our shelves and smashed glasses,” George said, adding that a water tank had burst and electricity was cut in parts of the city.

Lae International Hotel staff member Nora Gorogo said television sets rattled off shelves and were smashed in several hotel rooms. She was not aware of any major damage or casualties.

The emergency services in Lae and Port Moresby’s disaster-management centre could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Parts of Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific archipelago nation, are frequently shaken by quakes. — Sapa-AP

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