The amount of earthquake activity happening lately seems to be much, much higher than usual, but I have a hard time figuring out just what the numbers mean--what does 7.5 really equate to? Since I don't come from an area that often (or ever) gets quakes, I really can't put things in order.
Recently, I've discovered a kind of reddit celebrity named TheEarthQuakeGuy who does a great job of summarizing the quakes and what that means for the location where they hit.
Here's what's going on in Papau New Guinea.
Magnitude: Re-upgraded to a 7.5 event. Originally a 7.5 at 10km, then dropped down to a 7.4 at 63.1km, but now back up to a 7.5 magnitude.
Depth: Upgraded to a depth of 42km deep. Originally reported at 10km deep and then at 63.1km.
Intensity of Shaking: Currently the USGS has this at VIII on the Mercalli scale which means Severe shaking. The did you feel it reports have come in closer to VII, which is considered very strong shaking.
Expected Fatalities: The Pager has since been upgraded to yellow, meaning some death and destruction is likely. Currently, there's a 46% chance 1-10 fatalities will have occurred.
Expected Cost of the Quake: Again, this has been upgraded to yellow too.There is a 53% chance it will cost between $1-10m
Tsunami: So there was a watch for a tsunami of 0.3-1m around local coastlines but this hasn't eventuated.
All around, seems like everything will be alright even though its a pretty big quake!