Mw 6.8 New Britain Region, P.N.G.
updated 8 August 2021

On 17 October 2016 a strong earthquake occurred in New Britain Region, P.N.G. at a depth of 40 km. The seismic event occurred at 06:14:57 UTC and had an estimated moment magnitude (Mw) 6.8.

Two planetary alignments on the 13th and 15th preceded the earthquake. In addition, later on the 13th Mercury and Mars made a geocentric 90° angle. Particularly critical was the position of the Moon at the time Earth aligned with the Sun and Uranus on the 15th, as it was close to Full Moon, meaning the Moon conjuncted Uranus around the same time. Geometry like this has the potential to trigger large (~ Mw 8) seismic activity, depending on the amount of fault stress. On the 15th lunar geometry reached 16 on the index. The Full Moon and lunar conjunction with Uranus caused a second lunar peak early on the 16th. The critical planetary and lunar geometry from the 13th to the 16th then triggered the strong earthquake in New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea. A second strong earthquake occurred two days later in the Java Sea.

Mercury-Sun-Neptune      2016-10-13,  8:27:55  340°38'10"

Earth:  Mercury-Mars     2016-10-13, 20:48:01   90°00'00"

Sun-Earth-Uranus         2016-10-15, 10:28:31   22°16'14"

Earth-Moon-Uranus        2016-10-16,  2:59:00   22°14'33"
Moon-Earth-Sun           2016-10-16,  4:11:11  203°00'07"

Mars-Venus-Jupiter       2016-10-17, 23:13:06  177°57'02"
          
SSGI chart
SSGI depiction of planetary (PG) and lunar (LG) geometry

 

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