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Preliminary reports said an earthquake, which occurred at  2:30 p.m today, local time Sunday (11:30 p.m. Saturday ET) measured 8.0 but USGS later downgraded its magnitude.

Though the US Geological Survey said it’s a magnitude of  7.9 earthquake and it struck west of Papua New Guinea.The quake was 153 kilometers (95.5 miles) deep and centered 40 kilometers (24 miles) west of the town of Panguna.

It was said that USGS estimates that 72,000 people would have experienced severe shaking as a result of the quake. 

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