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Large earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea

There is very limited information about the extent of damage in Papua New Guinea from a large earthquake which hit just after lunchtime New Zealand time.

The earthquake is recorded as a 7.6 magnitude, centred near the Kainantu area of the Eastern Highlands.

RNZ Pacific's PNG correspondent Scott Waide who is in Lae, about 70 kilometres from the epicentre, said power was down in the Highlands and phone contact was limited.

Waide said he has heard of two soldiers injured at a military barracks in Lae, but so far has heard of no other injuries.

There had been some damage to buildings near the Eastern Highlands and in Madang shops are closed and buildings are also damaged, Waide said.

It may take some time to confirm the extent of damage in the rural areas closest to the epicentre, he said.

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