Earthquake shakes PNG city

Earthquake in the Bismarck Sea, between Lae, Madang and the island of New Britain. [US Geological Survey]
PHOTO

Earthquake in the Bismarck Sea, between Lae, Madang and the island of New Britain. [US Geological Survey]

Liam Fox, PNG correspondent

Last Updated: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:30:00 +1000

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck off Lae, Papua New Guinea, rocked the ground in the country's second largest city, residents say.

It occurred just after 5pm on Tuesday.

The US Geological survey says its epicentre was in the Bismarck Sea, 140 kilometres north of Lae.

Lae hotel manager Jason Andersen says it felt like two short, sharp quakes.

"Furniture was moving, windows were shaking, doors were banging bang, bang, bang," Mr Andersen said.


Felt in capital


"A few people came out of their rooms a little bit concerned.

"But apart from that there was no damage or anything like that."

On social media people said they felt the quake as far away as the capital, Port Moresby, 300 kilometres south of Lae.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says it did not generate a destructive tsunami.

Earlier, politicians and children ran in to the streets after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Tuesday afternoon.

People ran in fear from Aceh province's parliament after the quake hit 80 kilometres south-west of the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.

Arif Achir, of Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency, said there was no tsunami threat or immediate reports of damage.

An AFP correspondent said the quake lasted around 45 seconds, sending people running from parliament and children from classrooms.

Aceh province was shaken last Wednesday by two huge earthquakes that triggered an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert.

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