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No tsunami threat to Hawaii from Papua New Guinea quake

By Star-Advertiser staff and the Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:23 p.m. HST, May 15, 2011

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea this morning was too small to generate a tsunami threat for Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The quake struck at 8:37 a.m. Hawaii time and was centered 76 miles west of Arawa, Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and 154 west northwest of Chirovanga in the Solomon Islands at a dept of 27 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Initial reports said a local tsunami alert was issued, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach later clarified that no alert was issued. Bill Yomba, an official with Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center, said there had been no reports of any tsunamis striking the coast, and officials had not received any reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake.

Earthquakes of this magnitude 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 and where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur.

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