Strong earthquake shakes Papua New Guinea

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A strong earthquake shook Papua New Guinea on Wednesday but no serious damage or casualties were expected, officials said.

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake was centered in West New Britain province at a depth of 55.7 kilometers (35 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It said the quake caused strong shaking, but economic losses and casualties were expected to be small.

Papua New Guinea is on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, to the east of Indonesia and north of Australia. It sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world’s earthquake and volcanic activity occurs.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit a remote region of Papua New Guinea earlier this month, killing at least four people and destroying more than 300 homes.

Last September, a magnitude 7.6 quake killed 21 people.