Written by on . Last updated June 1st, 2023.

An unusually powerful M6.5 earthquake struck under land 39 kilometer from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Russia in the afternoon of Monday April 3rd, 2023. The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Russia, 39 kilometer (24 mi) south-southwest of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Kamchatka. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 101 km.

Date and Time: Apr 3, 2023 15:06 (Kamchatka Time)
- Apr 3, 2023 03:06 Universal Time.
Location: 39 km SSW of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka, Russia.
Coordinates 52°43'22"N 158°29'37"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 6.5
Detected by 8 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.063 .
Depth: 101 km (63 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Max. Intensity:

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Potential tsunami risk
The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Potential tsunami risk

DISCLAIMER: We strongly suggest to closely monitor advice from local authorities with regards to tsunami risks. Our analysis is based on automatically collected data from external sources, and these might contain mistakes. In addition, earthquakes can cause landslides that may lead to a tsunami, or be a followed by another, potentially stonger, earthquake.

There is a potential tsunami risk in the aftermath of this earthquake, immediately evacuate to higher grounds away from coastal areas and monitor advice from local authorities. The US Geographic Survey organization has indicated a potential risk for tsunami's following this earthquake.

Tsunami Risk Factors

Factor Under Sea? MAG-6.5 or stronger? Shallow depth?
Explanation Almost all tsunami's are caused by earthquakes with their epicenter under sea or very near the sea. However stay cautious in coastal areas as earthquakes on land may cause landslides into sea, potentially still causing a local tsunami. Under MAG 6.5: Very unlikely to cause a tsunami.
MAG 6.5 to 7.5: Destructive tsunami's do occur, but are uncommon. Likely to observe small sea level changes.
MAG 7.6+: Earthquakes with these magnitudes might produce destructive tsunami's.
Most destructive tsunami's are caused by shallow earthquakes with a depth between 0 and 100km under the surface of the earth. Deeper tsunami's are unlikely to displace to ocean floor.
This Earthquake This earthquake appears to have struck on land near a coastal area (1 km from the sea). This earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5. Earthquakes of this strength could trigger a tsunami. Not this earthquake.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of 101 km (63 mi). Earthquakes this deep in the earth are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.

Significant economic impact

The US Geographic Survey (USGS) describes the impact of this earthquake as follows:

Several buildings damaged at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Based on scientific estimates by the USGS, the risk of high fatalities for this earthquake is classified at level GREEN (low). They expect an 65% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 fatalities, and a 96% chance that the number of fatalities falls no higher than 10.

The USGS classifies the economic impact of this earthquake at level YELLOW (significant). They expect an 38% likelyhood of between 10 and 100 million US Dollars in economic damage and impact, and a 97% chance that the economic impact of this earthquake falls between 1 and 10,000 million USD.

Roughly 280 thousand people exposed to shaking

This earthquake may have been felt by around 280 thousand people. That is the expected population size of the area exposed to a level of shaking of II or higher on the Modified Mercalli scale according to the USGS.

The highest earthquake impact level for this earthquake is VI, which corresponds with strong shaking and probably light damage. Roughly 223,600 people are expected to be exposed to this level. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Russia .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
Not noticable None
Very weak None
Weak Probably none
Light Likely none
Moderate Very light
Strong Light
Very Strong Moderate
Severe Moderate to heavy
Violent Heavy
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Russia . Vilyuchinsk in Kamchatka, Russia is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 24 kilometer (15 mi) south-southeast of Vilyuchinsk. The intensity of shaking and damage in Vilyuchinsk is estimated to be around level VI on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (strong shaking, probably light damage).

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
24 km (15 mi)
NNW from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
39 km (24 mi)
NNE from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
52 km (32 mi)
N from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The graph below overlays a map of the region around the epicenter with earthquake intensity data provided by the US Geographic Survey. The highest intensity level detected for this earthquake is VI.

I Not felt
II Weak
III Weak
IV Light
V Moderate
VI Strong
VII Very Strong
VIII Severe
IX Violent
X Extreme
Earthquake Intensity Map based on Shakemap Data provided by USGS.

Shaking reported by 8 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 8 people have reported shaking in 2 places in Russia.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Mohovaja, Kamčatka, Russia: 5 people.
  • Petropavlovsk-Kamčatskij, Kamčatka, Russia: 3 people.

Risk of aftershocks?

This earthquake did not have any significant foreshocks nor aftershocks occurring within 100km (62 mi) of its epicenter.

The risk of aftershocks decreases rapidly over time. Usually, aftershocks are at least one order of magnitude lower than a main shock.

In only six percent of cases, significant earthquakes are followed by a larger main shock, making the current earthquake a foreshock. While the chance of this happening is not so large, it is adviced to maintain cautiousness in the hours and days following a major earthquake.

Read: How to Stay Safe during an Earthquake (cdc.gov).

This is the strongest earthquake in 7 years

Earthquakes of this strength are not so common in the region, but it's not the first time. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since January 30th, 2016, when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit 140 km (87 mi) further north. That was also the heaviest earthquake to hit the region in the past 10 years.

In total, 1 earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 or higher have been registered within 300km (186 mi) of this epicenter in the past 10 years. This comes down to an average of once every 10 years.


Last updated 01/06/23 17:37 (). This article contains currently available information about the earthquake and is automatically composed. We continue to update this article up to a few days after the earthquake occurred.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us6000k1mn
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20230403_0000034
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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