Written by on . Last updated February 21st, 2024.

A significant M5.8 earthquake struck in the North Pacific Ocean 125 kilometer from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia in the early morning of Sunday December 24th, 2023. Shaking may have been felt by a total of 270 thousand people.

Felt the earthquake? Share this article: Share on Facebook Tweet Submit to Reddit Share on LinkedIn

Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the North Pacific Ocean, 59 kilometers (37 mi) off the coast of Russia, 125 kilometer south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Kamchatka. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 42 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Dec 24, 2023 05:48 (Kamchatka Time)
- Dec 23, 2023 17:48 Universal Time.
Location: 125 km south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka, Russia.
Coordinates 51°57'12"N 158°57'18"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.8
Detected by 47 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.045 .
Depth: 42 km (26 mi)
A quite shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Minimal impact predicted

Based on scientific estimates by the US Geographic Survey (USGS), the risk of high fatalities for this earthquake is classified at level GREEN (low). They expect an 65% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 fatalities, and a 96% chance that the number of fatalities falls no higher than 10.

The USGS classifies the economic impact of this earthquake at level GREEN (low). They expect an 65% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 million US Dollars in economic damage and impact, and a 96% chance that the economic impact of this earthquake falls no higher than 10 million USD.

Roughly 270 thousand people exposed to shaking

An estimated 270 thousand have been exposed to shaking (An MMI or Modified Mercalli Intensity level II or higher) as a result of this earthquake according scientific estimates published by the USGS.

An estimated 860 people were exposed to level IV. At this level, light shaking and likely no damage can be expected. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 270 thousand). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Russia .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
Not noticable None
Very weak None
Weak Probably none
Light Likely none
Moderate Very light
Strong Light
Very Strong Moderate
Severe Moderate to heavy
Violent Heavy
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Russia . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Vilyuchinsk in Kamchatka, Russia. Vilyuchinsk is located 115 kilometer (71 mi) south-southeast of the epicenter. Vilyuchinsk experienced an earthquake intensity (MMI Scale) of roughly IV. That level implies light shaking and likely no damage.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
115 km (71 mi)
NNW from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
125 km (78 mi)
N from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
143 km (89 mi)
NNW from epicenter

Kamchatka, Russia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The intensity in shaking and damage by this earthquake is illustrated through the map below. The highest intensity measured for this earthquake is IV.

I Not felt
II Weak
III Weak
IV Light
V Moderate
VI Strong
VII Very Strong
VIII Severe
IX Violent
X Extreme
Earthquake Intensity Map based on Shakemap Data provided by USGS.

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 Russia.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Petropavlovsk-Kamčatskij, Kamčatka, Russia: 1 person.

Aftershocks detected

In the days before this main shock, 1 smaller foreshock was detected. A 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit 1 day earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.7 1 day earlier
Dec 22, 2023 23:26 (Kamchatka Time)
52 km (32 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.8 Dec 24, 2023 05:48
(Kamchatka 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?

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.

In only six percent of cases, significant earthquakes are followed by a larger main shock, making the current earthquake a foreshock. While the chance of this happening is not so large, it is adviced to maintain cautiousness in the hours and days following a major earthquake.

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 September 1st, 2023, when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit 232 km (144 mi) further southwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck on January 30th, 2016.

In total, 7 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.8 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 5.8. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 42 km (26 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 21/02/24 06:28 (). This article is automatically generated based on available data. We keep checking multiple sources for additional information. This article gets updated as new details on this earthquake become available.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us7000ll46
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231223_0000212
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

Share this article: Share on Facebook Tweet Submit to Reddit Share on LinkedIn