Written by on . Last updated December 2nd, 2023.

A shallow MAG-4.6 earthquake struck under land 260 kilometer from Mary in Turkmenistan in the evening of Monday November 20th, 2023. Other nearby countries are Afghanistan and Iran.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Turkmenistan, 260 kilometer (162 mi) south-southeast of Mary. 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 11:03PM (Kabul Time)
- Nov 20, 2023 18:33 Universal Time.
Location: 112 km NNE of Herāt, Herat, Afghanistan.
Coordinates 35°19'12"N 62°31'12"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.6
Depth: 10 km (6 mi)
A very shallow 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 struck within proximity of multiple countries. Afghanistan , Iran and Turkmenistan are all within 300km distance of its epicenter.

Located 93 kilometer (58 mi) north of the epicenter of this earthquake, Karukh (Herat, Afghanistan) is the nearest significant population center.

Major cities near this earthquake: Mashhad is located 284 km to the west-northwest. Herāt is located 112 km to the south-southwest. Mary is located 260 km to the north-northwest.

A complete list of nearby places is included below.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
93 km (58 mi)
S from epicenter

Herat, Afghanistan.
112 km (70 mi)
SSW from epicenter

Herat, Afghanistan.
123 km (76 mi)
ENE from epicenter

Badghis, Afghanistan.
151 km (94 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Kafir Qala

Herat, Afghanistan.
171 km (106 mi)
WSW from epicenter

Razavi Khorasan, Iran.
172 km (107 mi)
W from epicenter
Torbat-e Jām

Razavi Khorasan, Iran.
183 km (114 mi)
NW from epicenter

Razavi Khorasan, Iran.
212 km (132 mi)
SE from epicenter

Ghowr, Afghanistan.
215 km (134 mi)
ENE from epicenter

Faryab, Afghanistan.
221 km (137 mi)
N from epicenter

Mary, Turkmenistan.
227 km (141 mi)
S from epicenter

Herat, Afghanistan.
231 km (144 mi)
SSW from epicenter

Herat, Afghanistan.
258 km (160 mi)
N from epicenter

Mary, Turkmenistan.
260 km (162 mi)
NNW from epicenter

Mary, Turkmenistan.
284 km (176 mi)
WNW from epicenter

Razavi Khorasan, Iran.
292 km (181 mi)
NW from epicenter

Ahal, Turkmenistan.
296 km (184 mi)
NE from epicenter

Faryab, Afghanistan.
300 km (186 mi)
W from epicenter
Torbat-e Ḩeydarīyeh

Razavi Khorasan, Iran.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 1 smaller aftershock occurred. A 3.7 magnitude earthquake hit 9 mins later 90 km (56 mi) south-southwest of this earthquake.

This main shock was prefaced by 1 smaller foreshock. Roughly 9 sec before this earthquake, a foreshock measuring MAG-4.1 was detected nearby this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.1 9 sec earlier
Nov 20, 2023 23:02 (Kabul Time)
98 km (61 mi)
S from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.6 Nov 20, 2023 23:03
(Kabul Time)
Aftershock M 3.7 9 mins later
Nov 20, 2023 23:12 (Kabul Time)
90 km (56 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?

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 magnitude earthquake hit 93 km (58 mi) further south-southwest. An even stronger magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck on October 15th, 2023.

In total, 27 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.6 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 5 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 4.6. 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 02/12/23 19:58 (). 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. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231120_0000178
  2. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  3. Google Maps: Static API
  4. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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