Powerful Earthquake Hits Off Papua New Guinea

Sydney (AP) -- A very strong earthquake has struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, and a tsunami threat has been issued to areas near the epicenter.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-7.9 quake struck 46 kilometers (29 miles) east of Taron in Papua New Guinea on Saturday. The quake was deep, at 103 kilometers (61 miles). Deeper earthquakes tend to cause less damage than shallow ones.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a threat of a tsunami in Papua New Guinea and nearby areas.

Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

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