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SYDNEY (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.0 struck the northeast coast of the Pacific Ocean nation of Papua New Guinea on Thursday, the United States Geographical Survey (USGS) said.

The quake hit at 0250 GMT at a depth of around 53 km (37 miles), according to USGS. No tsunami warning was immediately issued.

Quakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s "Ring of Fire", a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties after the tremor.

Friday's quake was downgraded from an initial measurement of 6.3 magnitude by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Jane Wardell; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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Reuters