The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake at a depth of 35.0 km, roughly 89 km to the southwest of the city of Porgera, in Enga Province in central Papau New Guinea, slightly before 3.45 am on Sunday 25 February 2018, local time (slightly before 5.45 pm on Saturday 24 February GMT). At least 31 people have died as a result of this Earthquake, with over 300 more being injured, largely as a result of a series of landslides triggered by the event, which occurred in the mountainous interior of the island.
A landslide blocking a road in the interior of Papua New Guinea following the 25 February 2018 Earthquake. Baundo Mereh/Storyful.
The north coast of Papua New Guinea is located on the southern margin of the South Bismarck Plate, close to its boundary with the Australian Plate, which underlies most of the Papuan mainland. The Australian Plate is being subducted beneath the South Bismarck along the Bismark Range of Mountains in central Papua, this is not a smooth process, with the rocks sticking together, then moving sharply as the pressure builds up enough to break them apart, which can also lead to Earthquakes in the region.
The approximate location of the 25 February 2018 Enga Province Earthquake. USGS.
Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organisation Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.
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