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Papua New Guinea, Samoa: earthquake

An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude strikes Samoa hours after a tsunami warning is issued following a 7.5 quake in Papua New Guinea.

 An earthquake of 6.8 magnitude has struck off Samoa in the Pacific Ocean just hours after a major tremor rattled nearby Papua New Guinea.

The epicentre of the second quake was 77 miles (124km) west-southwest of the capital Apia, at a depth of 72.2 miles.

Earlier, vast swathes of the Pacific were put on high alert for “hazardous” tsunami waves after a powerful earthquake in Papua New Guinea.

The United States Geological Service measured it as magnitude 7.5.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre warned that waves measuring up to 10ft (3m) could hit Papua New Guinea and even reach parts of Russia.

It said areas located within 620 miles (1,000km) of the epicentre of the quake were most at risk.

Coasts as far away as China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Antarctica may also be affected, it said.

However, the Japan Meteorological Agency said the earthquake posed no tsunami risk to Japan.

The warning centre also said that the second quake posed no threat to Hawaii and a “destructive Pacific-wide tsunami” was not expected.

According to the US Geological Survey, the first quake hit at a depth of 65km, some 54km southeast of the town of Kokopo on New Britain island and 789km from the capital Port Moresby.

It was followed by multiple smaller aftershocks measuring between 4.7 and 5.7 in the same area.