Tsunami waves possible after magnitude-7 quake strikes east of PNG

USGS image

USGS image

The major quake's epicenter was 125 kilometers (75 miles) east of the town of Kimbe, according to USGS, which said it struck at a depth of around 40 km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported that waves of less than 0.3 metres could be witnessed along Papua New Guinea's coastline and the neighbouring Solomon Islands.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre oceanographer David Walsh says any tsunami from the quake would only affect areas immediately around the epicentre.

He was unable to comment on the tsunami threat.

However, it added: "Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazard such as tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction that might have contributed to loses".

New Zealand's Civil Defence said there was no significant tsunami risk to the country.

The initial shock was followed by two further tremors shortly afterwards, of magnitude 5 or greater.

Central Sulawesi was devastated when hit by a 7.5 magnitude quake last month which killed nearly 2000 people with hundreds more still missing.

Papua New Guinea, one of the world's poorest countries, sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire and is still recovering from a magnitude-7.5 quake that hit some 900km to the west in February, killing at least 100 people.

A spokesman for PNG's National Disaster Management Office in Port Moresby said there were no immediate reports of damage from the quake but these typically took several hours to reach the capital after a major shake.

The International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organisation, the World Bank, are holding annual meetings on Bali.