Thursday 8 October 2020

Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake in Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake at a depth of 103.5 km, roughly 38 km to the northeasr of the town of Kainatu, in Eastern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea, at about 5.35 pm  local time (about 7.35 am GMT) on Thursday 8 October 2020. There are no reports of any damage or casualties associated with this event at the current time, but people have reported feeling it in the area.

The approximate location of the 8 October 2020 Eastern Highlands Province Earthquake. USGS.

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.

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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