Saturday 8 June 2019

Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake off the southwest coast of Bougainville Island, Papau New Guinea.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake at a depth of 68.2 km, to the southwest of Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea, slightly before 9.20 pm local time (slightly before 9.20 am GMT) on Thursday 6 June 2019. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event, though it may have been felt on the island.

The approximate location of the 6 June 2019 Bougainville Earthquake. USGS.

Bougainville Island lies on the southern fringe of the Pacific Plate. To the south of the island the Solomon Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the Pacific Plate along the Bougainville Trench, passing under the island of Bougainville as it sinks into the Earth. This is not a smooth process; the rocks of the two plates constantly stick together, then break apart as the pressure builds up, causing Earthquakes in the process.

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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