SYDNEY (Reuters) - A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck off the town of Rabaul in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter of the quake was located 89 km (55 miles) northeast of Rabaul on New Britain island and at a depth of 499 kms (310 miles).

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Paul Tait)