RABAUL, Papua New Guinea - The eastern tip of Papua New Guinea's island of New Britain was hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Friday.
The U.S. Geological Survey said that it was the third earthquake to rattle Papua New Guinea, and struck 135 km east of the town of Rabaul, at 3.39 am local time on Friday.
The quake was under the seabed at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no threat of a tsunami.
On February 26, a quake of magnitude 7.5 struck the rugged highlands of the Papua New Guinea mainland, leaving over 100 people dead.
In a statement on Wednesday, officials said that the PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill flew over the worst-hit areas after a magnitude 6.7 aftershock struck the mountainous region.
O'Neill said in Tari, the capital of Hela province, “There will be no quick fix. The damage from this disaster will take months and years to be repaired.”
Following the quakes, the government and aid agencies have been scrambling to reach villages stranded by landslides and collapsed roads.
Meanwhile, neighbouring Australia and New Zealand have sent more helicopters and planes to help deliver food, water and medicine to the remote region.
O'Neill further added, "Tragically, the Highlands Earthquake has already claimed the lives of an estimated more than 100 Papua New Guineans, with many more still missing and thousands of people injured.”