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A powerful earthquake measuring magnitude 7.5 has struck Papua New Guinea, triggering a tsunami alert for the country and the nearby Solomon Islands.

The quake’s epicentre was 45km northeast of Kokopo, the provincial capital of the Papuan island of East New Britain, and struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage on the Earth’s surface, but the USGS estimated damage and injuries would be low because of the sparse population.

“It was massive, absolutely massive. Very scary,” Megan Martin, the managing director of the Ropopo Plantation resort in Kokopo, told AFP.

“There does not appear to be any damage, but we are out checking.”

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said: “Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters … hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000km of the earthquake epicentre.”

Via The Independent Channel News Asia