A strong earthquake struck the Pacific state of Papua New Guinea Wednesday, but no tsunami warning was issued as the quake occurred inland, and there were no immediate reports of damage.

The 7.3 magnitude tremor was centred near Lae, the country's second-largest city, at a depth of around 115 km (71 miles) the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It was very, very big, said Dolly Kinibo, a receptionist at the Lae International Hotel.

It lasted for two to three minutes. The whole building moved. The Christmas tree moved, we all moved, people are very shaken. There are no reports of injuries or damage, but our managers are checking.

The quake sent goods flying from the shelves of Lae's Foodmart store but caused only minor damage and no injuries. It wrecked some displays and caused some damage to the ceiling, but touch wood nothing serious, said store manager Albert Martinez.

Residents in the capital Port Moresby, 223 km (138 miles) from the epicenter, also reported feeling the quake.

PNG, a country where the majority of people live subsistence lives despite its abundant mineral wealth, sits on the geographically active Pacific Ring of Fire.

(Reporting by Michael Perry in Sydney; Editing by Lincoln Feast)