A 6.8 magnitude earthquake has struck off the island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea, according to disaster officials, putting the Ring of Fire on high alert.  The devastating quake hit at around 3:40am local time at a depth of six miles (10km), the US Geographical Survey (USGS) said. Officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that, based on the current evidence, there is no tsunami threat to nearby islands. A spokesman said: “A destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”

No serious injuries were immediately reported following the incident this morning. At least 55 people died in a separate earthquake in Papua New Guinea last week, although authorities fear the toll could exceed 100. The 7.5 magnitude disaster, which took place last Monday, destroyed homes, triggered landslides and halted work at four oil and gas fields. READ MORE