Earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

A very strong earthquake has struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea, and a tsunami threat has been issued to areas near the epicentre.

The US Geological Survey says the magnitude-7.9 quake struck 46 kilometres (29 miles) east of Taron in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was a threat of a tsunami in Papua New Guinea and nearby areas.

Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

NAN/Sammie