Earthquake shakes Bougainville

National, Normal

AN earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale shook parts of Bougainville Tuesday morning.
Reports from the Geophysical Observatory said the quake did not cause any damage and no tsunami was generated.
The earthquake occurred at 8.28 am and was of tectonic origin. It was caused by a stress build-up within the Solomon and Pacific Plate margins.
The earthquake was felt moderately 125 km west of Arawa in Bougainville.
The Geophysical Observatory said aftershocks were not unusual and this earthquake may be accompanied by a sequence.
The observatory said earthquakes in the area were known to have been preceded by larger earthquakes and authorities were advised to create awareness within local coastal communities.
The observatory said earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that could be destructive along coastlines located within a few hundred kilometers of the earthquake epicenter.
Reports from the Bougainville Disaster office said by contacting respective districts through v-sat phones, they discovered slight tremor aftershocks were felt at the southern, west coast and central parts of Bougainville but there were no serious damages reported. The atolls did not feel the quake.
The office received tsunami reports from villages such as Kuraio, Torokina and Mamarago but then verified them to be a false alarm.
The office has relayed information to the National Disaster Office and is keeping in close contact with health centres along the coastlines.
Meanwhile, a few residents in Buka said they felt the earthquake in the early morning.
One female worker with the Bougainville Catholic Diocese said she was sitting with her workmate in their office when they felt the house swaying and realised it was an earthquake.
She said they did not panic but remained calm and made their way out of the building.