Strong earthquake below Papua New Guinea

UPDATE 21/05 - 09:48 UTC : An experience report from a PNG reader : I was a bit amused by your report on this earthquake, as they happen so often here, and usually pass by as a non-event. This earthquake woke 2 out of 4 in our household. Thanks for the info. Signed : An ex-pat in PNG comment : We appreciate your comment. The reason why we write these articles from time to time is to emphasize that PNG exists and that there are also people living in PNG. The international community is not at all interested in these earthquakes, even if they are a lot stronger. We will continue to focus on those quakes which are well felt by the people (let's say a little stronger than usual 🙂

UPDATE 21:13 UTC : From CATDAT, earthquakes have been quite regular in the vicinity of Lae (within 100km) over the past 100 years, with earthquakes in 1957 (M6.3), 1968 (M5.5), 1971 (M7), 1980 (M5.7), 2005 (M6.1), 2010 (M6.2) all causing damage of varying degrees. In 2005, 1 person was killed and several injured.

UPDATE 20:44 UTC : Based on multiple events in Papua New Guinea, we know that emergency and rescue services are only alerted during massive earthquakes and the teams have to walk inland as most of the settlements can only be reached by trails. The chance that we will have reports from PNG on this earthquake are rather limited.

UPDATE 20:40 UTC :
1 person is living within a radius of 1 km around the epicenter
49 people are living within a radius of 2 km
127 people are living within a radius of 5 km
576 people are living within a radius of 10 km
3863 people are living within a radius of 20 km
85122 people are living within a radius of 50 km

UPDATE 20:39 UTC : Seismic data from the other agencies :
GFZ :  Magnitude 6.0 @ 31 km
EMSC : Magnitude 5.9 @ 20 km

UPDATE 20:33 UTC : The maximum slope in the area of the earthquake is 57% and the maximum altitude is 3709 m. Since this is a medium slope, the risk of earthquake induced landslides is medium.

UPDATE 20:29 UTC : The houses in the wilderness settlements in PNG are mostly made of bamboo and wood and are nor especially dangerous. The greatest risk for the people are commonly the secondary effects of landslides.

UPDATE 20:27 UTC : The earthquake happened in the moderately populated region of Morobe in Papua New Guinea. The nearest populated places are: Black Cat (11km), Waipali (10km), Boisi (19km), Biaboli (9km), Selebop (9km), Kamiaturn (17km), Bogasu (13km), Pilimung (14km), Bobadu (16km), Hote (17km), Yasingli (19km), Dahu (18km), Yemli (19km), Drong (19km). The closest civilian airport is Wau (24km).

UPDATE 20:26 UTC : NO tsunami risk as the hypocenter is below the island.

UPDATE 20:22 UTC : 6 people will experience a VIII severe shaking, 1,000 people a very strong VII shaking and 28,000 people a strong VI shaking.

An extremely shallow earthquake occurred during the early morning hours below Papua New Guinea. The epicenter is located approx. 30 km from the coast.

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.8
UTC Time : Friday, May 20, 2011 at 19:43:15 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 05:43:15 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) :  1 km
Geo-location(s) :
54 km (33 miles) SSW of Lae, New Guinea, PNG
149 km (92 miles) NE of Kerema, New Guinea, PNG

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
3-dimensional view of the earthquake area (USGS epicenter location)
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS Seismic hazard map
USGS Impact on Population map
USGS Shaking map

QuakeSOS+ and QuakeSOS free are iPhone applications developed by Armand Vervaeck, the founder of Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is feeding the users with Earthquake Report news.
The 0.99 US$ QuakeSOS+ version will support the activities of SOS Earthquakes.

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I did feel it  - Ik heb het gevoeld - Το έκανα αισθάνεται - Yo lo siento - 我的确感到了 - 私はそれを感じていました- Ich habe es gefühlt - Bunu hissediyorum yaptı - لم أشعر أنه