M7.6 earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea, NO tsunami threat to Hawaii, Pacific tsunami threat largely passed

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hawaii.TIBHWX.2015.03.29.2356_86065

SYDNEY (AP) – A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, generating a small tsunami and frightening locals near the epicenter, but prompting no reports of damage or injuries.

A tsunami of half a meter (1.5 feet) was measured in the harbor of Rabaul, a town near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.7 earthquake, said Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Center. The quake struck at a depth of 65 kilometers (40 miles), about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the town of Kokopo, near Rabaul, in northeastern Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had warned that tsunami waves up to 3 meters (10 feet) could strike parts of Papua New Guinea, and waves of less than 0.3 meters (1 foot) could hit other Pacific countries, as far north as Russia. The center lifted the warning a few hours later, after reporting a 3-centimeter (1-inch) tsunami wave was measured at a wharf in the Solomon Islands, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) from the epicenter.

In Rabaul, residents noticed the sea level rose slightly, prompting ocean water to flood the parking lot of a shopping center near the beach, said Mika Tuvi, an employee at the Rabaul Hotel. “But nothing beyond that – no damage caused,” she said.

When the quake struck, guests and workers at the hotel fled outside, fearing the building would collapse, Tuvi said. The tremors, which lasted for about 5 minutes, were frightening in their intensity, but the hotel withstood the shaking, she said.

Officials in the capital, Port Moresby, were working to contact their counterparts in the outer provinces, but hours after the quake, there still had been no reports of damage or injuries, said Mose, of the national disaster center. He said he was confident the nation had averted a major catastrophe.

The quake caused strong shaking and knocked items off shelves in Kokopo, and was felt 800 kilometers (500 miles) away in Port Moresby, said Chris McKee, assistant director of the Geophysical Observatory in Port Moresby.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the “Ring of Fire” – an arc of earthquake and volcanic activity that stretches around the Pacific Rim.


TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 4

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI

0230 UTC MON MAR 30 2015

…PTWC FINAL TSUNAMI THREAT MESSAGE…

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

THIS MESSAGE IS ISSUED FOR INFORMATION ONLY IN SUPPORT OF THE UNESCO/IOC PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING AND MITIGATION SYSTEM AND IS MEANT FOR NATIONAL AUTHORITIES IN EACH COUNTRY OF THAT SYSTEM.

NATIONAL AUTHORITIES WILL DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF ALERT FOR EACH COUNTRY AND MAY ISSUE ADDITIONAL OR MORE REFINED INFORMATION.

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS

———————————

  • MAGNITUDE 7.6
  • ORIGIN TIME 2349 UTC MAR 29 2015
  • COORDINATES 4.7 SOUTH 152.7 EAST
  • DEPTH 33 KM / 20 MILES
  • LOCATION NEW IRELAND REGION PAPUA NEW GUINEA

EVALUATION

———-

  • AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.6 OCCURRED IN THE NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA AT 2349 UTC ON SUNDAY MARCH 29 2015.
  • BASED ON ALL DATA AVAILABLE TO THIS CENTER… THE TSUNAMI THREAT FROM THIS EARTHQUAKE HAS NOW MOSTLY PASSED. ANY REMAINING THREAT SHOULD BE EVALUATED BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN IMPACTED AREAS.

TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST…UPDATED

———————————

THE TSUNAMI THREAT HAS NOW LARGELY PASSED.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

——————-

  • GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY IMPACTED COASTAL AREAS SHOULD MONITOR CONDITIONS AT THE COAST TO DETERMINE IF AND WHEN IT IS SAFE TO RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES.
  • PERSONS LOCATED NEAR IMPACTED COASTAL AREAS SHOULD STAY ALERT FOR INFORMATION AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES.
  • REMAIN OBSERVANT AND EXERCISE NORMAL CAUTION NEAR THE SEA.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS

—————–

MINOR SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS OF UP TO 0.3 METERS ABOVE AND BELOW THE NORMAL TIDE MAY CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

TSUNAMI OBSERVATIONS

——————–

THE FOLLOWING ARE TSUNAMI WAVE OBSERVATIONS FROM COASTAL AND/OR DEEP-OCEAN SEA LEVEL GAUGES AT THE INDICATED LOCATIONS. THE MAXIMUM TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS MEASURED WITH RESPECT TO THE NORMAL TIDE LEVEL.

GAUGE TIME OF MAXIMUM WAVE

COORDINATES MEASURE TSUNAMI PERIOD

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON (UTC) HEIGHT (MIN)

————————————————————-

TAREKUKURE WHARF SB 6.7S 156.4E 0159 0.03M/ 0.1FT 32

NOTE TIDE GAUGE AT TAREKUKURE WHARF IS 450 KM FROM THE EPICENTER.

NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

————————————–

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS NEW INFORMATION IS RECEIVED OR THE SITUATION CHANGES.




TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI

156 PM HST SUN MAR 29 2015

TO – EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT – TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0149 PM HST 29 MAR 2015

COORDINATES – 4.7 SOUTH 152.7 EAST

LOCATION – NEW IRELAND REGION PAPUA NEW GUINEA

MAGNITUDE – 7.6 MOMENT

EVALUATION

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

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