Large earthquakes strike Japan, New Guinea

3 killed in New Guinea, earthquake strikes near center of 2011 quake which caused deadly tsunami.

Gary Willig ,

Earthquake damage (illustrative)
Earthquake damage (illustrative)

At least three people were killed when a large earthquake struck Papua, New Guinea Monday, Radio New Zealand reported.

The temblor which struck the small island nation measured 7.5 on the Richter Scale.

The total damage from the earthquake is unknown, as communications with affected areas have been cut off and roads have been blocked. In addition, oil and gas operations have been shut down.

“The National Government has dispatched disaster assessment teams to parts of Southern Highlands Province and Hela Province," the country's Prime Minister's Office stated following the quake.

Earlier, another quake struck off the coast of Japan, near Fukushima. The magnitude 5.6 tremor occurred near the site of the 2011 earthquake which caused a tsunami that flooded much of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The plant suffered three nuclear meltdowns following the tsunami.

No tsunami warnings have been issued following either earthquake Monday. The Tokyo Electric Company announced that there had been "no abnormalities found" at the Fukushima nuclear plant in the aftermath of the quake.

The earthquake had a fraction of the power of the 2011 quake, which registered a whopping magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter Scale.