If you’ve been following the news, you might have seen that a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Papua New Guinea at 2345 GMT Saturday. As of this writing, there have been at least 3 confirmed deaths, and many more people are injured by infrastructure damage.
But why is Papua New Guinea so prone to earthquakes? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Earthquakes Occur in Papua New Guinea?
Papua New Guinea is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is an area of the world that is particularly prone to seismic activity. In fact, about 75% of the world’s earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is caused by the meeting of several major tectonic plates.
Earthquakes happen when two plates collide. The force of the collision creates an earthquake that can be felt for miles around. Papua New Guinea is located right where two major plates – the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate – are colliding. That’s why earthquakes are so common in this region.
What is the Ring Of Fire?
The Ring of Fire is made of plate tectonics. These plates are huge slabs of the Earth’s crust, they fit together as puzzle pieces. The layer of tectonic plates made of solid and molten rock called Mantle keeps on moving and sometimes these plates even collide, get close, or apart with the movement.
The Pacific Plate, for example, is gradually being pushed under the Philippine Sea Plate, a process that has caused major earthquakes in Japan and the Philippines.
The Ring of Fire is also home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes. While the Ring of Fire is a source of great natural beauty, it also poses a significant risk to human populations. Although our understanding of tectonic activity has improved greatly in recent years, scientists are now better able to predict when and where major earthquakes will occur.
Papua New Guinea Earth Quakes in 2022 & History
In addition to being located on the Ring of Fire, Papua New Guinea is also home to some very active volcanoes. In fact, there are more than 15 volcanoes in Papua New Guinea that are considered active and around 22 potentially active.
List of major earthquakes above 6 level of magnitude In last 5 years
|2022-09-11 05:16||7.6||90 3 death & many injuries (data as on date posted)|
|2018-02-25 17:44||7.5||25.2 depth,|
|2018-03-04 19:56||6.0||10.0 11 died|
|2018-03-06 14:13||6.7||22.9 25 died|
|2018-04-07 05:48||6.3||10.0 4 Killed|
The recent earthquake in Papua New Guinea was especially damaging because it occurred inland remote location rather than offshore. Most earthquakes in this region happen offshore, which limits their damage potential. But this earthquake occurred in the eastern Papua New Guinea region at local time 2345 GMT Saturday, but the tremors were felt in the far capital of Port Moresby, about 500 km (310 miles) away. More updates are yet to be reported on the damage and destruction reported from this event.
As earthquakes are unfortunately a very common occurrence in Papua New Guinea due to their location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its active volcanoes. The recent 7.6 magnitude earthquake has caused significant damage and loss of life. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.
Disclaimer: Fact may sometimes vary as all data and facts in the article are based on the data available of various available sources.