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Sunday November 12, 2006

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes near Papua New Guinea; no damage reported


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck near the coast of Papua New Guinea early Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. 

The temblor struck at 1:10 a.m. local time (1510 GMT Saturday) 94 kilometers (58 miles) northwest of Kandrian on Papua New Guinea's island of New Britain and 51 kilometers (32 miles) under the Earth's crust. 

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, said there was no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami "based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.'' 

However, the center warned that "earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometers (60 kilometers) of the earthquake epicenter.'' 

The archipelago nation is part of the Pacific Ocean's "ring of fire,'' where earthquakes of this magnitude are common and rarely cause serious damage.-AP 

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