A tsunami warning has been lifted for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands after a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of the island of New Britain.

The US Geological Survey says the magnitude 7.5 earthquake was measured at the shallow depth of 10 kilometres, around 45-kilometres north east of the regional capital Kokopo.

Witnesses in the Kokopo beach area in New Britain Province say the quake lasted around 40 seconds.

"So far we have received no reports of damage," said Constable Taylor Fugo from Kira Kira police station, the provincial capital of Makira Province in the Solomon Islands.

"The people responded very well to the (tsunami) warning. They all went up the hills and have been watching and waiting for advice."