Shallow 5.4 magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea

SYDNEY - A shallow magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck off the north coast of Papua New Guinea Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

The quake, which hit at 6:53 am (2053 GMT Wednesday), was just 6.5 kilometres (four miles) deep, the USGS said. It was located 75 kilometres east-north-east of Wewak and was 761 km from capital Port Moresby.

"PNG has shallow earthquakes like this all the time," Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jessop said.

"The possibility of damage from anything below 6.0 in this area is very low."

No tsunami warning was issued.

Quakes of such magnitude are common in poverty-stricken PNG, which sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.