7.5 magnitude quake rattles residents on Papua New Guinea island

The shallow quake occurred 44km north-east of Kokopo in Papua New Guinea

The shallow quake occurred around 11pm (1300 GMT), some 44 kilometres (27 miles) northeast of Kokopo on New Britain island, the US Geological Survey said.

A 7.7 magnitude powerful quake struck PNG around 1am, triggering a tsunami alert for the country and for the nearby Solomon Islands. "Very scary", Megan Martin, the managing director of the Ropopo Plantation resort in Kokopo, told AFP.

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have dispatched teams in the Pacific island nation's New Britain province to monitor remote communities for casualties and assess the extent of damage after a powerful, shallow quake rattled coastal towns. "At the moment we haven't had any reports of damage".

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The natural disaster, which struck at 11:58 p.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered in water just off New Ireland island, about 44 kilometers (27 miles) northeast of Kokopo on the island of New Britain.

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Aftershocks are still being felt long after the initial quake, as residents sat in darkness, fearful of tsunami waves.

The tsunami alert has been canceled, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

In a final message, the PTWC said "no tsunami waves were observed at the closest sea level gagues, however here are no sea level gauges near the epicenter".

The warning covers the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

On May 7, Papua New Guinea was hit by a 7.2-magnitude natural disaster which was so powerful it was felt in Australia. The reported epicentre lies within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of regular seismic activity.

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