A very strong earthquake has struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, and a tsunami threat has been issued to areas near the epicentre.
The magnitude-8 undersea earthquake was registered off the coast of Papua New Guinea, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The quake occurred 60 kilometres east of Taron on New Ireland island at 9.51pm AEDT on Saturday at a depth of 73.4 kilometres.
— James Reynolds (@EarthUncutTV) December 17, 2016
According to the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre there was no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.
New Zealand, however, issued an official tsunami warning for the whole of the country.
“We’re continuing to assess the situation …at this stage we are advising New Zealanders to stay off the beaches, stay out of the water, not to go sightseeing and to listen to the radio and TV,” a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management said late on Saturday.
According to the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, tsunami waves were possible along some coasts of not only PNG but Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Nauru, Kosrae and Vanuatu.
Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.