In the night of Monday November 13th, 2023, a significant M5.1 earthquake hit in the South Pacific Ocean 288 kilometer from Nuku‘alofa, Tonga.
This earthquake hit under water in the South Pacific Ocean, 124 kilometers (77 mi) off the coast of Tonga, 288 kilometer north of Nuku‘alofa in Tongatapu. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 194 km.
|Date and Time:||Nov 13, 2023 04:53AM (Tongatapu Time)
- Nov 12, 2023 15:53 Universal Time.
|Location:||288 km north of Nuku‘alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga.
Coordinates 18°33'4"S 175°10'56"W.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Detected by 25 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.114 .
|Depth:||194 km (120 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
Overview of nearby places
|288 km (179 mi)
S from epicenter
Risk of aftershocks?
This earthquake did not have any significant foreshocks nor aftershocks occurring within 100km (62 mi) of its epicenter.
Aftershocks are usually at least 1 order of magnitude less strong than main shocks. The more time passes, the smaller the chance and likely strength of any potential aftershocks.
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 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit 260 km (161 mi) further south-southwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on November 1st, 2014.
In total, 220 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 17 days.
Tsunami very unlikely
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 194 km (120 mi). Earthquakes this deep in the earth are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
Last updated 08/12/23 19:08 (). 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.
- US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us7000lahd
- European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231112_0000156
- Geonames.org: World Cities Database
- Google Maps: Static API
- Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database