Written by on . Last updated December 8th, 2023.

In the Coral Sea 284 kilometer from Port-Vila, Vanuatu, a significant M5.1 earthquake occurred in the night of Friday November 10th, 2023.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Coral Sea, 27 kilometers (17 mi) off the coast of Vanuatu, 284 kilometer north-northwest of Port-Vila in Shefa. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 127 km.

Date and Time: Nov 10, 2023 01:12AM (Efate Time)
- Nov 9, 2023 14:12 Universal Time.
Location: 284 km NNW of Port-Vila, Shefa, Vanuatu.
Coordinates 15°18'37"S 167°28'11"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 21 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.068 .
Depth: 127 km (79 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 at depths deeper than 100km are very unlikely to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Vanuatu . Located 284 kilometer (176 mi) north-northwest of the epicenter of this earthquake, Port-Vila (Shefa, Vanuatu) is the nearest significant population center.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
284 km (176 mi)
SSE from epicenter

Shefa, Vanuatu.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Aftershocks detected

This main shock was followed by 1 smaller aftershock. At a distance of 41 km (26 mi) north-northwest of this earthquake, an aftershock struck 2 days later. It measured a magnitude of 4.3

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.1 Nov 10, 2023 01:12AM
(Efate Time)
Aftershock M 4.3 2 days later
Nov 12, 2023 02:46AM (Efate Time)
41 km (26 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Detected MAG2.5+ earthquakes within within 100km (62 mi), that occurred in the three days before and after the main shock.

More earthquakes coming?

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

It's always adviced to be cautious of the risk of a larger shock following any significant earthquake, however this risk is fairly small. There is a roughly 94 percent change that no larger main shock will follow in the days following this earthquake.

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

Earthquakes like this happen often in the region

Earthquakes of this strength are very common in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since October 28th, 2023, when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit 245 km (152 mi) further north. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on October 20th, 2015.

In total, 197 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.1 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 19 days.

Tsunami very unlikely

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.

For a serious tsunami to occur, earthquakes usually need to have a magnitude of at least 6.5 and occur at a shallow depth of maximum 100km. Neither are the case with this earthquake. However always stay cautious and monitor advice from local authorities.

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 under the sea. Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of 127 km (79 mi). Earthquakes this deep in the earth are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 08/12/23 01:58 (). 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 us7000l9ul
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231109_0000198
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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