Written by on . Last updated November 30th, 2023.

A shallow and significant Magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck in the South Pacific Ocean 200 kilometer from Manokwari, Indonesia in the late afternoon of Tuesday November 21st, 2023.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the South Pacific Ocean, right off the coast of Indonesia (11 mi offshore), 200 kilometer east of Manokwari in West Papua. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 17 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Nov 21, 2023 16:12 (Jayapura Time)
- Nov 21, 2023 07:12 Universal Time.
Location: 200 km east of Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia.
Coordinates 0°32'49"N 135°50'1"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.3
Detected by 50 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.082 .
Depth: 17 km (11 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 Indonesia . Manokwari in West Papua, Indonesia is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 200 kilometer (124 mi) east of Manokwari.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
200 km (124 mi)
W from epicenter

West Papua, Indonesia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Aftershocks detected

Before this earthquake struck, 3 smaller foreshocks occurred. A 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit 1 day earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 3.5 2 days earlier
Nov 19, 2023 10:01 (Jayapura Time)
15 km (10 mi)
NE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.8 1 day earlier
Nov 20, 2023 13:30 (Jayapura Time)
27 km (17 mi)
W from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.3 10 hrs earlier
Nov 21, 2023 06:07 (Jayapura Time)
40 km (25 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.3 Nov 21, 2023 16:12
(Jayapura Time)
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.

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 are common in the region

Earthquakes of this strength occur quite regularly in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since April 17th, 2022, when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit 152 km (95 mi) further south-east. An even stronger magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck on December 28th, 2018.

In total, 8 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 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 year.

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 5.3. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 17 km (11 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 30/11/23 07:58 (). 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 us6000lprg
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231121_0000047
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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