A powerful earthquake has struck near Papua New Guinea.

The United States Geological Survey said the shallow magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck Wednesday morning about 19 kilometers (11 miles) from the small northern town of Aitape.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not immediately issue any alerts.

Papua New Guinea is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.