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magnitude 6.9 quakes off Papua New Guinea, tsunami danger passes



SYDNEY (Reuters) – A 6.9 earthquake crashed off the south coast of Papua New Guinea's New Britain Island on Friday, triggering a tsunami warning to nearby shores, but there were no immediate reports about losses or damages.

The shallow quake broke near the coast, about 100 miles (162 km) southwest of Rabaul (Rabaul), a far more remote region than the mountainous highlands of the country, where a magnitude 7.5 trembles struck on February 26, killing 100 people ,

The PTWC issued a threat warning for the country's coastline, located 300 kilometers from the epicenter of the quake, but later revealed that the threat was over.

Dellie Minding, Receptionist at the Rabaul Hotel in eastern New Britain, about 20 minutes from the coast, told Reuters that the earthquake was felt. Many guests ran outside, but there was no damage.

At the Rapopo Plantation Resort on the coast, receptionist May Dovon said she had heard nothing about loss or damage.

"We felt the earthquake, everything moved, so we left the building," Dovon told Reuters. "Nothing was damaged."

The Australian authorities said there was no threat to the Australian coast from the earthquake, which was initially reported as magnitude 7.2.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, located on the Pacific's Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. Rabaul lies in the shadow of Mount Tavurvur, an active volcano that destroyed the city in 1

994 during a severe eruption.

The recent quake came when Papua New Guinea struggled to help the survivors of the February 26 earthquake, flattening the entire village and destroying the water supply on the country's main island.

The impoverished country, too, is missing its biggest revenue since the quake stalled Exxon Mobil Corp's Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) expropriation project, which has annual revenues of $ 3 billion at current LNG prices. The company is still investigating earthquake damage in its facilities.

Reporting by Jane Wardell and Alison Bevege in SYDNEY. Additional reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington; Arrangement by James Dalgleish, Tom Brown, Toni Reinhold


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