Written by on . Last updated March 3rd, 2024.

Under land 12 miles from Fontana in The United States, a shallow Magnitude 4.2 earthquake occurred in the morning of Friday January 5th, 2024. The earthquake struck near a very densely populated region. Roughly 25 million people may have felt this earthquake. Another nearby country is Mexico.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in The United States, 12 miles (20 km) north-northwest of Fontana in California. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 6 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Jan 5, 2024 10:55AM (Los Angeles Time)
- Jan 5, 2024 18:55 Universal Time.
Location: 12 mi NNW of Fontana, California, The United States.
Coordinates 34°15'30"N 117°30'32"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.2
Detected by 75 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.2 .
Depth: 6 mi (9 km)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
V
Moderate

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
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.

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 25 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 25 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 680 people were exposed to level V. At this level, moderate shaking and very light damage can be expected. The majority of people (roughly 13 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
2,157,000
I
Not noticable None
12,820,000
II
Very weak None
11,120,000
III
Weak Probably none
850,800
IV
Light Likely none
680
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 Mexico are both within 300km distance of its epicenter.

Rancho Cucamonga in California, The United States is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 12 miles (19 km) north-northeast of Rancho Cucamonga. The intensity of shaking and damage in Rancho Cucamonga is estimated to be around level IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (light shaking, likely no damage).

Multiple major population centers exist within 300km of the earthquake that struck today. Los Angeles is located 44 mi to the west-southwest and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). Fontana is located 12 mi to the south-southeast and experienced an intensity of IV (light shaking, likely no damage). Rancho Cucamonga is located 12 mi to the south-southwest and experienced an intensity of IV (light shaking, likely 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)
12 mi (19 km)
SSW from epicenter
Rancho Cucamonga

California, The United States.
IV
Light
12 mi (20 km)
SSE from epicenter
Fontana

California, The United States.
IV
Light
13 mi (21 km)
SE from epicenter
Rialto

California, The United States.
IV
Light
14 mi (22 km)
SW from epicenter
Upland

California, The United States.
III
Weak
14 mi (23 km)
SSE from epicenter
Bloomington

California, The United States.
IV
Light
16 mi (25 km)
SSW from epicenter
Ontario

California, The United States.
III
Weak
16 mi (26 km)
SE from epicenter
San Bernardino

California, The United States.
IV
Light
16 mi (26 km)
SW from epicenter
Claremont

California, The United States.
III
Weak
16 mi (26 km)
SW from epicenter
Montclair

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

California, The United States.
III
Weak
17 mi (27 km)
SE from epicenter
Colton

California, The United States.
IV
Light
17 mi (28 km)
S from epicenter
Glen Avon

California, The United States.
IV
Light
19 mi (30 km)
SW from epicenter
La Verne

California, The United States.
III
Weak
19 mi (31 km)
SSE from epicenter
Rubidoux

California, The United States.
IV
Light
19 mi (31 km)
ESE from epicenter
Highland

California, The United States.
III
Weak
20 mi (32 km)
SW from epicenter
Pomona

California, The United States.
III
Weak
20 mi (32 km)
WSW from epicenter
San Dimas

California, The United States.
III
Weak
20 mi (32 km)
SSW from epicenter
Chino

California, The United States.
III
Weak
21 mi (33 km)
S from epicenter
Eastvale

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

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

California, The United States.
III
Weak
23 mi (37 km)
SW from epicenter
Chino Hills

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

California, The United States.
III
Weak
24 mi (38 km)
SE from epicenter
Redlands

California, The United States.
III
Weak
24 mi (38 km)
SW from epicenter
Diamond Bar

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

California, The United States.
III
Weak
25 mi (40 km)
WSW from epicenter
Covina

California, The United States.
III
Weak
25 mi (40 km)
NE from epicenter
Apple Valley

California, The United States.
III
Weak
27 mi (43 km)
S from epicenter
Corona

California, The United States.
III
Weak
27 mi (44 km)
SE from epicenter
Moreno Valley

California, The United States.
III
Weak
28 mi (45 km)
WSW from epicenter
West Covina

California, The United States.
III
Weak
29 mi (46 km)
WSW from epicenter
Baldwin Park

California, The United States.
III
Weak
31 mi (50 km)
SW from epicenter
Yorba Linda

California, The United States.
III
Weak
32 mi (52 km)
WSW from epicenter
El Monte

California, The United States.
III
Weak
35 mi (57 km)
WSW from epicenter
Whittier

California, The United States.
II
Weak
36 mi (58 km)
SW from epicenter
Fullerton

California, The United States.
III
Weak
37 mi (60 km)
SW from epicenter
Anaheim

California, The United States.
III
Weak
37 mi (60 km)
WSW from epicenter
Pasadena

California, The United States.
III
Weak
38 mi (61 km)
SSW from epicenter
Orange

California, The United States.
II
Weak
41 mi (66 km)
SSW from epicenter
Santa Ana

California, The United States.
II
Weak
41 mi (66 km)
WNW from epicenter
Palmdale

California, The United States.
III
Weak
41 mi (66 km)
WSW from epicenter
East Los Angeles

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

California, The United States.
III
Weak
42 mi (67 km)
SW from epicenter
Garden Grove

California, The United States.
II
Weak
43 mi (70 km)
W from epicenter
Glendale

California, The United States.
III
Weak
44 mi (71 km)
WSW from epicenter
Los Angeles

California, The United States.
III
Weak
45 mi (72 km)
SSW from epicenter
Irvine

California, The United States.
III
Weak
47 mi (76 km)
NW from epicenter
Lancaster

California, The United States.
III
Weak
48 mi (77 km)
WSW from epicenter
Hollywood

California, The United States.
III
Weak
50 mi (80 km)
SW from epicenter
Huntington Beach

California, The United States.
II
Weak
52 mi (83 km)
SW from epicenter
Long Beach

California, The United States.
III
Weak
201 km (125 mi)
SSE from epicenter
Tijuana

Baja California, Mexico.
I
Not felt
183 mi (294 km)
E from epicenter
Lake Havasu City

Arizona, The United States.
184 mi (296 km)
NE from epicenter
Paradise

Nevada, 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 V.

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.

Aftershocks detected

Before this earthquake struck, 1 smaller foreshock occurred. Nearby this earthquake a foreshock struck 2 days earlier. It measured a magnitude of 2.6

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
Jan 3, 2024 08:29PM (Los Angeles Time)
35 mi (57 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.2 Jan 5, 2024 10:55AM
(Los Angeles 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.

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 140 mi (226 km) further south-east. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on July 6th, 2019.

In total, 117 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.2 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 month.

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 4.2. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 6 mi (9 km). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 05:48 (). 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 ci40455759
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240105_0000265
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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