Written by on . Last updated February 22nd, 2024.

Under land 33 miles from Seattle in The United States, a M4.0 earthquake occurred in the morning of Sunday December 24th, 2023. The earthquake struck near a very densely populated region. Shaking may have been felt by a total of 6.1 million people. Another nearby country is Canada.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in The United States, 33 miles (53 km) west-northwest of Seattle in Washington. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 33 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Dec 24, 2023 07:14AM (Los Angeles Time)
- Dec 24, 2023 15:14 Universal Time.
Location: 33 mi WNW of Seattle, Washington, The United States.
Coordinates 47°49'11"N 122°57'36"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.0
Detected by 34 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.053 .
Depth: 33 mi (52 km)
A quite shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
III
Weak

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake in a coastal area, it appears to have occurred under land (4 mi from the sea) with a magnitude that is usually not strong enough to 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 6.1 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 6.1 million 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 423,600 people were exposed to level III. At this level, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected. Intensity level II was experienced by the majority of people (around 5.7 million). In their region, very weak shaking and no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Canada .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
3,499,000
I
Not noticable None
5,669,000
II
Very weak None
423,600
III
Weak Probably none
0
IV
Light Likely none
0
V
Moderate Very light
0
VI
Strong Light
0
VII
Very Strong Moderate
0
VIII
Severe Moderate to heavy
0
IX
Violent Heavy
0
X
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake struck within proximity of multiple countries. The United States and Canada are both within 300km distance of its epicenter.

The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Silverdale in Washington, The United States. Silverdale is located 17 miles (28 km) northwest of the epicenter. The intensity of shaking and damage in Silverdale is estimated to be around level II on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (very weak shaking, no damage).

Multiple large cities are in proximity of today's earthquake. Seattle is located 33 mi to the east-southeast and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, no damage). Victoria is located 74 km to the north-northwest and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, no damage). Vancouver is located 159 km to the north (intensity unknown, possibly low).

The table below provides an overview of all places in proximity of today's earthquake. Where available, the estimated intensity on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale in each place is included. Places where this information is omitted likely experienced little impact.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
17 mi (28 km)
SE from epicenter
Silverdale

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
23 mi (37 km)
SE from epicenter
Bremerton

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
24 mi (39 km)
ESE from epicenter
Bainbridge Island

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
27 mi (44 km)
E from epicenter
Edmonds

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
29 mi (47 km)
E from epicenter
Shoreline

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
30 mi (48 km)
NW from epicenter
Port Angeles

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
30 mi (48 km)
E from epicenter
Lynnwood

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
30 mi (49 km)
E from epicenter
Mountlake Terrace

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
31 mi (50 km)
E from epicenter
Picnic Point-North Lynnwood

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
32 mi (51 km)
ENE from epicenter
Mukilteo

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
33 mi (53 km)
ESE from epicenter
Seattle

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
E from epicenter
Bothell West

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
E from epicenter
Martha Lake

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
E from epicenter
Kenmore

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
35 mi (56 km)
E from epicenter
Inglewood-Finn Hill

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
35 mi (57 km)
E from epicenter
Bothell

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
35 mi (57 km)
E from epicenter
Mill Creek

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
36 mi (58 km)
NNE from epicenter
Oak Harbor

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
36 mi (58 km)
ESE from epicenter
Kirkland

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
37 mi (59 km)
E from epicenter
North Creek

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
37 mi (59 km)
E from epicenter
Eastmont

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
37 mi (59 km)
ENE from epicenter
Everett

Washington, The United States.
III
Weak
37 mi (60 km)
E from epicenter
Silver Firs

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
37 mi (60 km)
SE from epicenter
Burien

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
38 mi (61 km)
ESE from epicenter
Bellevue

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
39 mi (62 km)
ESE from epicenter
Mercer Island

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
40 mi (64 km)
ENE from epicenter
Marysville

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
40 mi (65 km)
SE from epicenter
SeaTac

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
40 mi (65 km)
ESE from epicenter
Redmond

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
42 mi (67 km)
SE from epicenter
Des Moines

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
42 mi (67 km)
ESE from epicenter
Renton

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
43 mi (69 km)
ESE from epicenter
Sammamish

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
43 mi (70 km)
ENE from epicenter
Lake Stevens

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
43 mi (70 km)
ESE from epicenter
West Lake Sammamish

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
45 mi (72 km)
SSE from epicenter
University Place

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
45 mi (73 km)
ESE from epicenter
City of Sammamish

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
45 mi (73 km)
SE from epicenter
Kent

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
46 mi (74 km)
SE from epicenter
East Hill-Meridian

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
74 km (46 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Victoria

British Columbia, Canada.
II
Weak
46 mi (74 km)
SSE from epicenter
Tacoma

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
46 mi (74 km)
SE from epicenter
Federal Way

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
48 mi (77 km)
ESE from epicenter
Issaquah

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
49 mi (79 km)
SSE from epicenter
Lakewood

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
49 mi (79 km)
SE from epicenter
Auburn

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
50 mi (81 km)
NE from epicenter
Mount Vernon

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
81 km (50 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Langford

British Columbia, Canada.
II
Weak
54 mi (87 km)
SE from epicenter
Puyallup

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
54 mi (87 km)
S from epicenter
Olympia

Washington, The United States.
II
Weak
55 mi (88 km)
S from epicenter
Lacey

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
57 mi (92 km)
SE from epicenter
South Hill

Washington, The United States.
I
Not felt
159 km (99 mi)
N from epicenter
Vancouver

British Columbia, Canada.
159 mi (256 km)
S from epicenter
Portland

Oregon, The United States.
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 III.

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 67 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 67 people have reported shaking in 11 places, all within Canada.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: 39 people.
  • Sidney, British Columbia, Canada: 11 people.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: 4 people.
  • Sooke, British Columbia, Canada: 3 people.
  • Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada: 2 people.
  • Walnut Grove, British Columbia, Canada: 2 people.
  • White Rock, British Columbia, Canada: 2 people.
  • Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada: 1 person.
  • Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada: 1 person.
  • Cultus Lake, British Columbia, Canada: 1 person.

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.

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 are common in the region

Earthquakes of this strength occur quite regularly in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since October 9th, 2023, when a 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit 19 mi (30 km) further north-east. An even stronger magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck on November 26th, 2022.

In total, 11 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4 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.

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 This earthquake appears to have struck on land near a coastal area (4 mi from the sea). Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 4. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 33 mi (52 km). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 22/02/24 06:48 (). 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 uw61977871
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231224_0000199
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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