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6.9 magnitude earthquake rocks Papua New Guinea

Gorkha Post

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NEW BRITAIN — A powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale has struck off the southern coast of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain Island, killing at least on Friday a month after a deadly quake that killed more than 100 people.

The quake struck at a depth of 10km, about 162 kilometres from the town of Rabaul on New Britain Island, about 7.25am on Friday. It has reportedly triggered a tsunami warning for surrounding coastlines but later called off.

There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

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According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake occurred 144km East of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea. The depth of the earthquake was 35.0 km depth.

Earlier on March 26, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale hit PNG and on March 24, another quake of the magnitude 6.8 shook the country.

On that note, it is pertinent to mention that the country is still recovering from a magnitude 7.5 quake on 26 February.

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Thai authorities launch search for youth soccer team trapped in cave

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BANGKOK — Search and rescue teams on Sunday are looking for a dozen members of a youth soccer team who are missing since late Saturday afternoon, believed to be trapped in a cave in northern Thailand.

Police said local authorities, police and rescue workers were working with divers to find the 12 boys, aged 11-15, and their coach, who are believed to have entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai province.

The group were apparently trapped when a heavy storm flooded a stream at the cave’s entrance.

Police Colonel Komsan Saardluan said parts of the cave, which is an estimated 6-8 kilometres long, get flooded to a height of as much as 5 metres during the rainy season, which runs from June through to October.

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Footage on Thai television showed bikes and backpacks left at the cave entrance. ThaiPBS television reported the team members came from various schools in the province and were thought to have been practicing before going to the park where the cave is located.

The search began around midnight on Saturday after police received a report of a missing child from a mother who said her son had not returned from the soccer practice that evening, ThaiPBS reported.

It said the mother last spoke to her son when he told her in the afternoon he was with the group visiting a cave inside the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.

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