Another massive quake hits Papua New Guinea
Officials said the extent of any damage caused by the latest temblor would not be known until Sunday at the earliest.
The US Geological Survey reported the quake was a 7.3 and hit at 1401 GMT about 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Rabaul in New Britain province.
It said it was located in the same area as a magnitude 7.9 and a magnitude 7.7 on Thursday, which caused a small tidal wave, landslips and minor damage to buildings.
A spokesman from the volcano observatory in Rabaul said officials had left to assess the sparsely populated area at the centre of the latest scare.
"We have to wait for our boats to come back tomorrow (Sunday), and they will let us know what damage was done," he said, adding that aftershocks were continuing.
Chris McKee from the Papua New Guinea Geological Survey in Port Moresby said Saturday's earthquake was strong, but the area was well-equipped to deal with it.
"It was not as strong as the ones on Thursday," he said. "This earthquake was a bit deeper (beneath the earth's surface) than the other ones, too."
He said the area between New Britain and Bougainville island was one of the most active seismic areas in the world.
"And that's mainly because of the plate movements -- the plates there are moving very fast, and they're colliding in that area."
In 1997, a giant tsunami, caused by an undersea earthquake or a landslide, killed more than 3,500 people near Aitapi, on the northwest coast of mainland Papua New Guinea.
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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 11/18/2000 02:57:22
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