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

In the early morning of Monday November 20th, 2023, a shallow and significant M5.0 earthquake hit in the Philippine Sea 85 kilometer from Naha, Japan.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Philippine Sea, 77 kilometers (48 mi) off the coast of Japan, 85 kilometer east-southeast of Naha in Okinawa. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 10 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Nov 20, 2023 05:24 (Tokyo Time)
- Nov 19, 2023 20:24 Universal Time.
Location: 85 km ESE of Naha, Okinawa, Japan.
Coordinates 25°53'9"N 128°27'3"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.0
Detected by 88 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.06 .
Depth: 10 km (6 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Japan . Katsuren-haebaru in Okinawa, Japan is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 76 kilometer (47 mi) south-east of Katsuren-haebaru.

An overview of nearby towns and cities is available in the overview below.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
76 km (47 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
78 km (48 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
79 km (49 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
81 km (50 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
82 km (51 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
83 km (52 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
83 km (52 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
84 km (52 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
85 km (53 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
87 km (54 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
91 km (57 mi)
NW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
93 km (58 mi)
NNW from epicenter

Okinawa, Japan.
294 km (183 mi)
NNE from epicenter

Kagoshima, Japan.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Shaking reported by 1 person

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 1 person has reported shaking in one place in Japan.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Ginowan, Okinawa, Japan: 1 person.

Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 1 smaller aftershock occurred. A 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit 23 hrs later 2.7 km (1.7 mi) south-southwest of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.0 Nov 20, 2023 05:24
(Tokyo Time)
Aftershock M 4.4 23 hrs later
Nov 21, 2023 04:34 (Tokyo Time)
2.7 km (1.7 mi)
SSW 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?

Earthquakes can create aftershocks. These are generally at least 1 magnitude lower than any main shock, and as time passes the chance and strength of aftershocks decreases.

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 October 19th, 2023, when a 5 magnitude earthquake hit 7 km (4 mi) further north-northeast. An even stronger magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck on March 2nd, 2014.

In total, 117 earthquakes with a magnitude of 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 month.

Low 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.

Based on early data it appears this earthquake was not strong enough (lower than MAG-6.5) to be likely to cause destructive tsunami's. However this earthquake appeared to have hit at a shallow depth under sea, so 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. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 10 km (6 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 29/11/23 20:48 (). 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 us6000lphk
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231119_0000184
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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