Earthquakes in Houses at Kelau 2007, Papua New Guinea

Earthquakes in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea there are very strong earthquakes with far-reaching consequences. Earthquakes with a magnitude of over 8.0 destroy numerous houses within a radius of several hundred kilometers and are causing great damage and devastation. Measured by the size of the country, earthquakes occur above average, but not excessively often.

Since 1950 more than 3300 people died by direct consequences of earthquakes. 29 earthquakes also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lifes and damages.

Other natural hazards in Papua New Guinea:
The most severe natural disasters worldwide

Back to overview: Papua New Guinea

Most recent events

This list includes the strongest earthquakes recorded in or around Papua New Guinea by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the past 14 days. Whether an event is listed here depends largely on its magnitude, but also on its distance from inhabited areas. All data refer to the local time. This page is updated daily at 11am UTC.

  • May 8, 5:54 pm
    Magnitude 4.8: 183 km north of Madang at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 6, 1:13 pm
    Magnitude 4.8: 84 km west-northwest of Kandrian at a depth of 97.54 km.
  • May 6, 12:05 am
    Magnitude 5.1: eastern New Guinea at a depth of 152.87 km.
  • May 18, 8:52 pm
    Magnitude 4.7: 99 km southeast of Kimbe at a depth of 36.93 km.
  • May 17, 8:21 pm
    Magnitude 4.8: 41 km south of Kimbe at a depth of 57.69 km.
  • May 17, 5:11 pm
    Magnitude 4.6: 113 km south-southwest of Abepura, Indonesia at a depth of 108.16 km.
  • May 14, 12:25 pm
    Magnitude 5.1: 110 km west-southwest of Abepura, Indonesia at a depth of 66.13 km.
  • May 12, 8:24 am
    Magnitude 5.1: 76 km south-southwest of Panguna at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 10, 8:33 am
    Magnitude 6.3: 179 km southwest of Lorengau at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 10, 10:02 am
    Magnitude 5.3: 198 km north of Madang at a depth of 10 km.

Earthquakes in Papua New Guinea since 1950

Earthquakes in Houses at Kelau 2007, Papua New GuineaThe strongest earthquake in Papua New Guinea happened on 11/16/2000 in the region New Ireland, Duke Of York with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale. The shifting of tectonic plates in a depth of 55 km resulted in 2 deaths. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami with further victims and destructions.
DateRegionDepthMagnitudeDeathsTotal damage
07/17/2020Morobe, Oro80 km7.01
05/14/2019Rabaul, Duke Of York Is10 km7.60
05/06/2019Morobe (Wampar)127 km7.20
04/07/2018Hela18 km6.34
03/06/2018S Highlands, Hela20 km6.725
03/04/2018S Highlands10 km6.011
02/28/2018S Highlands16 km6.11
02/25/2018S Highlands, Hela; Indonesia25 km7.5145
01/22/2017Bougainville Island36 km7.93
12/17/2016New Britain New Ireland5 km7.90
05/05/2015Papua New Guinea38 km7.50
03/29/2015Papua New Guinea1 km7.50
04/19/2014Solomon Sea21 km7.50
04/11/2014Bougainville Island13 km7.11
09/09/2005New Ireland43 km7.70
09/08/2002Kairiru Is, Muschu Is, Wewak25 km7.64
01/10/2002Aitape56 km6.71
11/17/2000New Britain56 km7.80
11/16/2000New Ireland, New Britain16 km7.80
11/16/2000New Ireland, Duke Of York55 km8.02
07/17/1998Sissano16 km7.00
08/16/1995Rabaul, Kokopo, New Britain28 km7.70
10/13/1993Eastern (Upper Markham Valley) 6.960
12/30/1990New Britain18 km7.50
03/10/1989New Britain (Rabaul)10 km5.41
09/06/1988Kaiapit (Landslide Generated)33 km4.374
07/05/1988New Britain (Kandrian, Arawe)7 km6.80
10/16/1987New Britain (Kandrian, Kimbte)1 km7.70
10/12/1987Solomon Sea4 km6.80
02/08/1987Huon Peninsula, Umboi Island58 km7.63
06/24/1986Papua New Guinea30 km7.10
07/03/1985New Britain (Rabaul)51 km7.20
05/10/1985New Britain (Bialla, Piona)50 km7.11
03/27/1984Karkar33 km6.60
12/22/1983Ulawun, Rabaul2 km6.410
03/18/1983New Ireland50 km7.60
06/25/1979E, Mt Hagen5 km6.20
08/28/1977Admiralty Islands5 km5.50
07/20/1975Solomon Islands (Buin, Boku)27 km7.70
07/20/1975Bismarck Sea (Bougainville)39 km7.90
08/17/1972W. Solomon Sea5 km7.10
09/25/1971Bismarck Sea14 km7.00
07/26/1971Bismarck Sea Rabaul21 km7.90
07/14/1971New Ireland (Bougainville)29 km7.92
10/31/1970Madang7 km7.315
08/02/1969Bismarck Sea29 km5.40
10/23/1968N Coast, Wewak, Dagua 7.50
02/12/1968New Ireland 7.80
08/13/1967Bismarck Sea10 km6.40
11/17/1964New Britain39 km7.60
06/11/1960W. Solomon Sea9 km6.60
10/10/1955Bismarck Sea47 km7.30
04/23/1953Solomon Islands34 km7.40
02/18/1951Papua New Guinea 0.03000

These statistics are based on datas from the National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): Significant Earthquake Database. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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