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

In the evening of Monday January 29th, 2024, a shallow M4.0 earthquake hit under land 57 miles from Anchorage in The United States. The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in The United States, 57 miles (91 km) north-east of Anchorage in Alaska. 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 29, 2024 09:15PM (Anchorage Time)
- Jan 30, 2024 06:15 Universal Time.
Location: 57 mi NE of Anchorage, Alaska, The United States.
Coordinates 61°43'40"N 148°33'27"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.0
Detected by 33 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.035 .
Depth: 6 mi (9 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 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. 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.

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 69% likelyhood of between 0 and 1 fatalities, and a 98% 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 410 thousand people exposed to shaking

The USGS has published a report estimating the number of people exposed to this earthquake. Acoording to their analysis, roughly 410 thousand have been exposed to shaking at an MMI level of II or higher.

An estimated 7,350 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 250 thousand). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected.

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
56,590
I
Not noticable None
150,900
II
Very weak None
252,300
III
Weak Probably none
7,350
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 . Located 43 miles (70 km) north-east of the epicenter of this earthquake, Eagle River (Alaska, The United States) is the nearest significant population center. Eagle River experienced an earthquake intensity (MMI Scale) of roughly III. That level implies weak shaking and probably no damage.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
43 mi (70 km)
SW from epicenter
Eagle River

Alaska, The United States.
III
Weak
57 mi (91 km)
SW from epicenter
Anchorage

Alaska, The United States.
II
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 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.

Aftershocks detected

In the days before this main shock, 1 smaller foreshock was detected. A 2.7 magnitude earthquake hit 2 days earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 2.7 2 days earlier
Jan 28, 2024 07:22AM (Anchorage Time)
19 mi (31 km)
WNW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.0 Jan 29, 2024 09:15PM
(Anchorage 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?

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.

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 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 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit 104 mi (168 km) further northwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on November 30th, 2018.

In total, 286 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 13 days.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 02:28 (). This article contains currently available information about the earthquake and is automatically composed. We continue to update this article up to a few days after the earthquake occurred.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake ak0241dps9ls
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240130_0000070
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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