TWO STRONG QUAKES HIT PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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HONOLULU, (Pacific Islands Report, Jan. 2) – Two strong earthquakes hit Papua New Guinea today, a magnitude 6.2 quickly followed by a magnitude 5.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

No damage or injuries were reported.

According to Reuters, the first quake struck about 55 miles (88.5 km) north of the town of Lae. It was 29.8 miles (50 km) deep.

The aftershockwas deeper at 39.6 miles (63.5 km), and struck at 1913 GMT, very nearby, 52 miles (84 km) north of Late.

USGS Earthquake Analyst Don Blakeman told Reuters that the quakes and could have caused damage but he added no reports of any damage or casualties were immediately available.

He said the quakes were very unlikely to cause a tsunami because they struck on land and were not powerful enough but the first one could cause some local wave activity. Both quakes were near the coast.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which monitors possible tsunamis around the world, did not issue any warning.

The area is sparsely populated and is prone

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