SYDNEY – A magnitude-6 earthquake shook the interior of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, two days after another magnitude-7.5 earthquake in the same region caused landslides that left at least 31 people dead and another 300 injured.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which records seismic activity around the world, placed the hypocenter of the earthquake at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and its epicenter at 90 kilometers from Mendi, the provincial capital of the Southern Highlands Province.
At least 13 people were killed in Mendi after the first earthquake and another 18 in the regions of Kutuku and Bosave, according to authorities.
Police said that up to 400,000 people in four provinces have been affected by the quakes, which hit the region early Monday.
The magnitude-7.5 tremor struck at a depth of 35 kilometers, with its epicenter about 90 kilometers south of Porgera, in the province of Enga, according to the USGS.
The quake was followed by several aftershocks of up to magnitude-6.3.
The Ok Tedi Mine and ExxonMobil-operated gas conditioning plant in Hides gas field, Hela Province, have been shut down as a precautionary measure to assess possible damage to the facilities.
The country is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of intense seismic and volcanic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.