Written by on . Last updated November 29th, 2023.

In the night of Wednesday November 15th, 2023, a significant MAG-5.1 earthquake hit under land 114 kilometer from Wewak in Papua New Guinea.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Papua New Guinea, 114 kilometer (71 mi) south-southwest of Wewak in East Sepik. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 87 km.

Date and Time: Nov 15, 2023 04:41 (Port Moresby Time)
- Nov 14, 2023 18:41 Universal Time.
Location: 114 km SSW of Wewak, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 4°26'38"S 143°7'25"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 50 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.08 .
Depth: 87 km (54 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake, it appears to have occurred under land with a magnitude not strong enough to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Papua New Guinea . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Wewak in East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Wewak is located 114 kilometer (71 mi) south-southwest of the epicenter.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
114 km (71 mi)
NNE from epicenter

East Sepik, Papua New Guinea.
198 km (123 mi)
SSE from epicenter

Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea.
199 km (124 mi)
SE from epicenter
Mount Hagen

Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Risk of aftershocks?

We monitor for foreshocks or aftershocks that have a magnitude of 2.5+ and occur within 100km (62 mi) of the epicenter of this earthquake. So far no such earthquakes have been detected.

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

The chance that a significant earthquake like this one is followed by an even larger earthquake is not so large. On average, scientists estimate a 94% chance that a major earthquake will not be followed by an even larger one. It is still adviced to be aware of this risk

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 September 5th, 2023, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit 100 km (62 mi) further south-southwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck on February 25th, 2018.

In total, 82 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 2 months.

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.

While MAG-6.5+ earthquakes may cause tsunami's, it appears that the epicenter of this earthquake hit under land. In addition, the reported depth is deeper than 100km, making the risk of a tsunami even less likely. 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 Not this earthquake.
This earthquake appears to have struck on land far from any coast.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 87 km (54 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 29/11/23 20:18 (). As more information on this earthquake becomes available this article will be updated. This article is automatically composed based on data originating from multiple sources.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us6000lnek
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231114_0000173
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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