April 2015 – PAPUA NEW GUINEA – A magnitude –6.7 earthquake has struck New Britain Island off Papua New Guinea, 131 kilometers south-west of the town of Kokopo, US seismologists said. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said “a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.” The quake hit the island, northeast of mainland PNG, at a depth of 48.9 kilometers and the US Geological Survey initially reported the earthquake’s magnitude at 6.8, but later revised its strength. The epicenter was 680 kilometers from capital Port Moresby.
New Britain is the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago, east of mainland New Guinea, and has a population of about 500,000 people. The island lies on the 4,000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate, which forms part of the Ring of Fire, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. A magnitude-7.5 quake hit the region on March 30, some 55 kilometers from Kokopo, without triggering a tsunami, though the tremor sent startled residents fleeing from their homes. –ABC News