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6.4-magnitude quake hits off PNG

 (AFP Photo/Frederick Florin)

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Thursday, officials said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued.

The tremor hit at a depth of 46 kilometres (28 miles) near the sparsely-populated New Ireland region, 110 kilometres southeast of the town Kokopo, the United States Geological Survey said.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out a widespread tsunami and Geoscience Australia estimated any damage would only be within a 49-kilometre radius.

Earthquakes are common near Papua New Guinea, which lies on the 4,000-kilometre-long Pacific Australia plate.

It forms part of the “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.

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