Massive M7.5 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

– February 25, 2018

A very strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit Papua New Guinea at 17:44 UTC on February 25, 2018 (03:44 local time, February 26). The agency is reporting a depth of 35 km (21.7 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.5 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). This earthquake is expected to have a high humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 33.1 km (20.5 miles) SW Tari (population 8 186), 98.5 km (61.2 miles) W of Mendi (population 26 252) and 163.4 km (101.5 miles) E of Kiunga (population 11 536), Papua New Guinea.

There are 670 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles) and 12 000 within 10 km.

Some 10 000 people are estimated to have felt severe shaking, 356 000 very strong, 660 000 strong and 1 423 000 moderate.

The USGS issued a yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional level response.