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

In the North Pacific Ocean 137 miles from Juneau, The United States, an unusually powerful Magnitude 5.9 earthquake occurred in the evening of Thursday January 11th, 2024. The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the North Pacific Ocean, 36 miles (58 km) off the coast of The United States, 137 miles south-southwest of Juneau in Alaska. 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 11, 2024 10:46PM (Juneau Time)
- Jan 12, 2024 07:46 Universal Time.
Location: 137 mi SSW of Juneau, Alaska, The United States.
Coordinates 56°26'18"N 135°42'49"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.9
Detected by 6 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.032 .
Depth: 7 mi (11 km)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
V
Moderate

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 5.9. 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 20 thousand people exposed to shaking

An estimated 20 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.

The highest earthquake impact level for this earthquake is IV, which corresponds with light shaking and likely no damage. Roughly 11,170 people are expected to be exposed to this level. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Canada .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
430
II
Very weak None
9,690
III
Weak Probably none
11,170
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 may have been felt in The United States . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Juneau in Alaska, The United States. Juneau is located 137 miles (221 km) south-southwest of the epicenter. The intensity of shaking and damage in Juneau is estimated to be around level III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (weak shaking, probably no damage).

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
137 mi (221 km)
NNE from epicenter
Juneau

Alaska, The United States.
III
Weak
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 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.

Shaking reported by 2 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 2 people have reported shaking in one place in 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:

  • Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada: 2 people.

Aftershocks detected

Since this main shock, 1 smaller aftershock was detected. A 2.8 magnitude earthquake hit 22 hrs later 6 mi (9 km) east-southeast of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.9 Jan 11, 2024 10:46PM
(Juneau Time)
-
Aftershock M 2.8 22 hrs later
Jan 12, 2024 09:07PM (Juneau Time)
6 mi (9 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
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).

This is the strongest earthquake in 9 years

Earthquakes of this strength are not so common in the region, but it's not the first time. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since July 25th, 2014, when a 6 magnitude earthquake hit 139 mi (224 km) further north-northwest. That was also the heaviest earthquake to hit the region in the past 10 years.

In total, 1 earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 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 10 years.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 04:38 (). 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 ak024jyw3sk
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240112_0000106
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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