Papua New Guinea has been struck by a major earthquake which is being felt across the region.
The magnitude-7.5 earthquake occurred early Monday morning with the epicentre roughly 500kms from the capital Port Moresby.
Speaking about the quake in a statement, Chief Secretary to Government Ambassador Isaac Lupari said disaster assessment teams have been sent to affected areas.
“The National Disaster Centre is working with provincial authorities to assess any damage and impacts on service delivery in the area.”
Powerful aftershocks continue to rattle PNG, with some companies, including ExxonMobil Corp, pausing operations for the time being.
Lupari also added it was important for locals and tourists to be aware of the aftershocks.
“It is advisable to stay out of multi-story buildings, to be aware of the potential of landslides, and to be prepared to move to open ground in the event that an aftershock is felt.”
According to the ABC, the area where the earthquake hit is an agricultural hub for PNG, with a number of coffee plantations as well as oil and gas operations.
Speaking to the ABC, Brisbane miner Derek Schock said he actually thought he was “dreaming” when the quake struck.
“We get a lot of rain and storms so initially I thought it was just another heavy rain and wind gust.
“But then I noticed it getting worse, then the house started to shake.”
“There has been a significant landslide and the road is cut off.”
Luckily, there have been no reported fatalities so far.
US Geological Survey spokesperson Don Blakeman also spoke to the ABC, and said: “Any geologic situation like steep valleys or any type of construction, [like] buildings, mines, that sort of thing, since this is a shallow earthquake it shakes all of that a lot more.”
“Landslides are a lot more common and should be expected.”