I awoke this morning to the news of a large on-land earthquake in PNG this morning. A 7.1 is a destructive quake with Pager showing 500k population in the worst hit zone. But it’s mnot all bad news as the depth of the quake at 127 km should make the shaking less and being on land there is no chance of a tsunami making the damage fairly localized to the immediate area of the epicenter.
While initial reports are that there is light damage engineers still need to check buildings and in a mountainous country land slides could be a problem and in the smaller villages there may be more damage. This quake is in the area where the subduction zone between the Indo-Australian plate and the Pacific plate switches from south of the island on the east where the Indo-Australian plate is subducted and north of the island to the west where the pacific plate is subducted. The place in the middle is not entirely known how hw two plates interact and the crust is more or less the two plates just smashing into each other causing mountainous terrain and a deep crust.
With this size of quake aftershocks are expected to be numerous and large, with possible quakes of a higher magnitude possible, so the people of the region are advised to take precautions. Remember people, quakes don’t kill people, falling buildings kill people.
- Strong Earthquake Strikes Papua New Guinea (abcnews.go.com)
- 7.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Bismarck Island arc of Papua New Guinea (theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com)