Strong shallow earthquake below the rain-forest of Eastern Papua New Guinea

Earthquake overview : A strong but shallow and thus moderately dangerous earthquake occurred just after midnight inland Eastern Papua New Guinea.
"I have Felt it" Reports --> see below + Let us know "how you have felt this earthquake"
To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).
Check also our PNG or Papua New Guinea-only earthquake list

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Typical PNG highland landscape - image courtesy oltma

Strong moderately dangerous earthquake.
1,000 people will experience a very strong shaking and 33,000 people a strong shaking. The main reason for this high impact is the very shallow hypocenter. PNG is however well prepared for very strong to even massive earthquakes. Since 1000ths of years, the islands are regularly shuddered by massive earthquakes. The earthquake's epicenter is below the rain forest where only primitive villages are located. These villages have NO brick or concrete houses which make them less vulnerable for destruction.
The main dangers during these earthquakes are landslides and mining accidents.
Emergency services
will normally not react to this kind of earthquakes. Additionally, as they have no helicopters and as the hills are mostly saturated by clouds, they have to walk to the epicenter areas via normal walking trails. They often need many days to reach the epicenter area.
These are the facts of life at PNG. We would be very surprised if a report would ever be published on this earthquake by the PNG authorities or by the local PNG press.

Updatenearest populated place to the epicenter is : Were Were (18km).
The closest civilian airport is Sim (18km).

Update :  Population close to the epicenter (source GDACS)
11 people are living within a radius of 2 km around the epicenter
150 people are living within a radius of 5 km
640 people are living within a radius of 10 km
3,752 people are living within a radius of 20 km
63,803 people are living within a radius of 50 km
301,887 people are living within a radius of 100 km
999,056 people are living within a radius of 200 km

Update : Landslides risk : The maximum slope in the area of the earthquake is 59.6% and the maximum altitude is 3605 m. Since this is a medium slope, the risk of earthquake induced landslides is medium. Note, however, that the slope data is not reliable on a local scale, while landslides depend very much on local topography, soil and meteorological conditions.


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Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude :  5.8
UTC Time :  Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 14:07:51 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 12:07:51 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10.1 km
Geo-location(s) :
88 km (54 miles) S of Lae, New Guinea, PNG
137 km (85 miles) ENE of Kerema, New Guinea, PNG
216 km (134 miles) N of PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map showing the epicenter and the surrounding area
Historic earthquakes map
Seismic hazard map
Shaking map
Focal mechanism report
Human impact map
GDACS earthquake report
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I did feel it – Ik heb het gevoeld – Το έκανα αισθάνεται Yo lo he sentido – 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