A magnitude 6.7 earthquake (reported as 7.0 initially) occurred 57 km (35 miles) southeast of Madang at 18:34 Oct. 7. The tremor occurred at a depth of about 53 km (32 miles), and strong shaking was probably felt across New Guinea. This event was shortly followed up with another strong Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake just 9 minutes later. There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the earthquake; however, significant damage is likely, particularly near the epicenter. It could take several hours until authorities can conduct comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas. There has already been one major aftershock; further aftershocks are likely over the coming days.
Officials may temporarily shut down transportation infrastructure in the tremor zone to check for damage. Minor disruptions could occur during shutdowns, but service will likely resume quickly if no damage is found. Utility outages are possible, particularly near the earthquake’s epicenter.
Plan accordingly for aftershocks. Consider vacating multistory buildings if operating in affected areas until authorities confirm their structural integrity. Allow additional time for air and road travel, as aftershocks may prompt brief disruptions. Seek updated information on road conditions before driving in hilly areas in the affected region due to potential landslides.