Written by on . Last updated March 1st, 2024.

A shallow Magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck in the North Pacific Ocean 17 miles from Long Beach, The United States in the morning of Monday January 1st, 2024. The earthquake struck near a very densely populated region. The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake. Another country near the epicenter is Mexico.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the North Pacific Ocean, right off the coast of The United States (17 km offshore), 17 miles southwest of Long Beach in California. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 7 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Jan 1, 2024 08:27AM (Los Angeles Time)
- Jan 1, 2024 16:27 Universal Time.
Location: 17 mi SW of Long Beach, California, The United States.
Coordinates 33°34'47"N 118°22'13"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.1
Detected by 65 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.2 .
Depth: 7 mi (11 km)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
IV
Light

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Potential tsunami risk
The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Potential 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.

There is a potential tsunami risk in the aftermath of this earthquake, immediately evacuate to higher grounds away from coastal areas and monitor advice from local authorities. The US Geographic Survey organization has indicated a potential risk for tsunami's following this earthquake.

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 4.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 7 mi (11 km). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

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 17 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 17 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.

Light shaking and likely no damage may have been experienced by an estimated 70 people. At IV, it is the highest MMI level this earthquake has caused. The majority of people (roughly 12 million) live in an area exposed to level II, where very weak shaking and no damage is expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Mexico .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
8,823,000
I
Not noticable None
11,690,000
II
Very weak None
5,480,000
III
Weak Probably none
70
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

The United States and Mexico are both located within 300km distance of the epicenter of the earthquake.

Rancho Palos Verdes in California, The United States is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 11 miles (18 km) south of Rancho Palos Verdes. The intensity of shaking and damage in Rancho Palos Verdes is estimated to be around level III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (weak shaking, probably no damage).

Multiple major population centers exist within 300km of the earthquake that struck today. Los Angeles is located 34 mi to the north-northeast and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, no damage). Long Beach is located 17 mi to the north-east and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). San Diego is located 92 mi to the south-east and experienced an intensity of I (not noticeable, no damage).

A complete list of nearby places is included below. Estimated intensity data (MMI) sourced from a shake-map published by the US Geographic Survey is shown where available (cities without data probably experienced little impact).

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
11 mi (18 km)
N from epicenter
Rancho Palos Verdes

California, The United States.
III
Weak
12 mi (19 km)
NNE from epicenter
San Pedro

California, The United States.
III
Weak
15 mi (24 km)
NNE from epicenter
Lomita

California, The United States.
III
Weak
17 mi (27 km)
NE from epicenter
Long Beach

California, The United States.
III
Weak
17 mi (28 km)
NNE from epicenter
West Carson

California, The United States.
III
Weak
18 mi (29 km)
N from epicenter
Torrance

California, The United States.
III
Weak
18 mi (29 km)
NNE from epicenter
Carson

California, The United States.
III
Weak
19 mi (30 km)
N from epicenter
Redondo Beach

California, The United States.
III
Weak
21 mi (34 km)
N from epicenter
Lawndale

California, The United States.
III
Weak
21 mi (34 km)
N from epicenter
Manhattan Beach

California, The United States.
III
Weak
22 mi (35 km)
N from epicenter
Gardena

California, The United States.
III
Weak
22 mi (36 km)
ENE from epicenter
Huntington Beach

California, The United States.
II
Weak
23 mi (37 km)
N from epicenter
Hawthorne

California, The United States.
III
Weak
23 mi (37 km)
NE from epicenter
Lakewood

California, The United States.
II
Weak
24 mi (38 km)
NNE from epicenter
Compton

California, The United States.
III
Weak
24 mi (39 km)
ENE from epicenter
Westminster

California, The United States.
II
Weak
25 mi (40 km)
NNE from epicenter
Paramount

California, The United States.
II
Weak
25 mi (41 km)
NE from epicenter
Bellflower

California, The United States.
II
Weak
25 mi (41 km)
ENE from epicenter
Fountain Valley

California, The United States.
II
Weak
25 mi (41 km)
E from epicenter
Newport Beach

California, The United States.
III
Weak
25 mi (41 km)
NE from epicenter
Cypress

California, The United States.
II
Weak
26 mi (42 km)
N from epicenter
Inglewood

California, The United States.
II
Weak
26 mi (42 km)
E from epicenter
Costa Mesa

California, The United States.
III
Weak
26 mi (42 km)
NE from epicenter
Cerritos

California, The United States.
II
Weak
26 mi (42 km)
NNE from epicenter
Lynwood

California, The United States.
III
Weak
27 mi (44 km)
NNE from epicenter
South Gate

California, The United States.
III
Weak
28 mi (45 km)
NNE from epicenter
Florence-Graham

California, The United States.
III
Weak
28 mi (45 km)
ENE from epicenter
Garden Grove

California, The United States.
II
Weak
28 mi (45 km)
NE from epicenter
Norwalk

California, The United States.
II
Weak
29 mi (46 km)
NNE from epicenter
Downey

California, The United States.
II
Weak
29 mi (47 km)
NNE from epicenter
Huntington Park

California, The United States.
III
Weak
29 mi (47 km)
NE from epicenter
Buena Park

California, The United States.
II
Weak
31 mi (50 km)
NNW from epicenter
Santa Monica

California, The United States.
III
Weak
31 mi (50 km)
ENE from epicenter
Santa Ana

California, The United States.
II
Weak
32 mi (51 km)
NE from epicenter
Anaheim

California, The United States.
II
Weak
32 mi (52 km)
NE from epicenter
Fullerton

California, The United States.
II
Weak
32 mi (52 km)
ENE from epicenter
Irvine

California, The United States.
III
Weak
33 mi (53 km)
NNE from epicenter
East Los Angeles

California, The United States.
II
Weak
33 mi (53 km)
ENE from epicenter
Orange

California, The United States.
II
Weak
33 mi (53 km)
NNE from epicenter
Boyle Heights

California, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
ENE from epicenter
Tustin

California, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
NNE from epicenter
Los Angeles

California, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
NE from epicenter
Whittier

California, The United States.
II
Weak
34 mi (54 km)
N from epicenter
Koreatown

California, The United States.
III
Weak
36 mi (58 km)
N from epicenter
Hollywood

California, The United States.
III
Weak
39 mi (62 km)
N from epicenter
Universal City

California, The United States.
II
Weak
39 mi (63 km)
NNE from epicenter
El Monte

California, The United States.
III
Weak
39 mi (63 km)
N from epicenter
Glendale

California, The United States.
III
Weak
42 mi (67 km)
NNE from epicenter
Pasadena

California, The United States.
II
Weak
42 mi (68 km)
N from epicenter
Van Nuys

California, The United States.
III
Weak
62 mi (99 km)
ENE from epicenter
Riverside

California, The United States.
II
Weak
175 km (109 mi)
SE from epicenter
Tijuana

Baja California, Mexico.
I
Not felt
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The graph below overlays a map of the region around the epicenter with earthquake intensity data provided by the US Geographic Survey. The highest intensity level detected 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.

Risk of aftershocks?

This earthquake did not have any significant foreshocks nor aftershocks occurring within 100km (62 mi) of its epicenter.

Aftershocks are usually at least 1 order of magnitude less strong than main shocks. The more time passes, the smaller the chance and likely strength of any potential aftershocks.

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 December 1st, 2023, when a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit 155 mi (250 km) further east-southeast. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on July 6th, 2019.

In total, 139 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.1 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 26 days.

Sources

Last updated 01/03/24 07:48 (). 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 ci40453591
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240101_0000249
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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