POSTED: 09:36 p.m. HST, Dec 13, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 04:12 a.m. HST, Dec 14, 2011
SYDNEY >> A strong earthquake struck the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday. There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries and no tsunami alert has been issued.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach did not issue a tsunami alert.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 3:04 p.m. Wednesday afternoon near the epicenter (7:04 p.m. Tuesday Hawaii time) about 54 miles southwest of Lae, on the country's northern coast. The quake hit at a depth of 71 miles.
People inside the country's Parliament building in the capital of Port Moresby saw windows rattling during the quake, but there was no apparent damage.
Strong earthquakes are relatively common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim.