Strong earthquake strikes off Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude-6.5 quake struck 76 miles (122 kilometers) west of Arawa, the capital of Bougainville province, at a depth of 27 miles (43 kilometers), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a destructive, widespread tsunami and that sea-level gauges in the region showed no unusual wave activity. But the agency did say earthquakes of this size can sometimes generate tsunamis along coasts within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the epicenter.

Bill Yomba, an official with Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center, said there were no reports of any tsunamis striking the coast or of any injuries or damage.

Earthquakes of this magnitude are relatively common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the "Ring of Fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur.