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

A significant M5.1 earthquake struck in the North Pacific Ocean 75 kilometer from San Salvador, El Salvador in the morning of Tuesday February 6th, 2024. Around 17 million people have been exposed to shaking. Other countries near the epicenter include Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the North Pacific Ocean, 42 kilometers (26 mi) off the coast of El Salvador, 75 kilometer south-southwest of San Salvador. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 66 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Feb 6, 2024 07:53AM (El Salvador Time)
- Feb 6, 2024 13:53 Universal Time.
Location: 75 km SSW of San Salvador, El Salvador.
Coordinates 13°7'56"N 89°34'21"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 31 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.056 .
Depth: 66 km (41 mi)
A quite shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
IV
Light

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually 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 17 million people exposed to shaking

This earthquake may have been felt by around 17 million people. That is the expected population size of the area exposed to a level of shaking of II or higher on the Modified Mercalli scale according to the USGS.

Light shaking and likely no damage may have been experienced by an estimated 864,300 people. At IV, it is the highest MMI level this earthquake has caused. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 15 million). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected.

People in 4 countries have been exposed to shaking. In Guatemala , around 9 million people, with impact levels up to IV (light shaking, likely no damage). In El Salvador , around 6.3 million people. Roughly 1.7 million people were exposed to shaking in Honduras . Shaking was experienced by inhabitants of Nicaragua too.

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
1,456,000
II
Very weak None
14,750,000
III
Weak Probably none
864,300
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

4 countries can be found within 300km of the epicenter of this earthquake: El Salvador , Guatemala , Honduras and Nicaragua .

The closest significant population center near the earthquake is La Libertad in La Libertad, El Salvador. La Libertad is located 48 kilometer (30 mi) southwest of the epicenter. The intensity of shaking and damage in La Libertad is estimated to be around level IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (light shaking, likely no damage).

Multiple large cities are in proximity of today's earthquake. San Salvador is located 75 km to the north-northeast and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). Guatemala City is located 196 km to the north-northwest and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). Soyapango is located 79 km to the north-east and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage).

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)
48 km (30 mi)
NE from epicenter
La Libertad

La Libertad, El Salvador.
IV
Light
58 km (36 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Acajutla

Sonsonate, El Salvador.
IV
Light
67 km (42 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Sonsonate

Sonsonate, El Salvador.
IV
Light
68 km (42 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Santa Tecla

La Libertad, El Salvador.
IV
Light
69 km (43 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Antiguo Cuscatlán

La Libertad, El Salvador.
III
Weak
69 km (43 mi)
N from epicenter
Izalco

Sonsonate, El Salvador.
IV
Light
69 km (43 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Sonzacate

Sonsonate, El Salvador.
IV
Light
72 km (45 mi)
NE from epicenter
San Marcos

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
75 km (47 mi)
NNE from epicenter
San Salvador

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
78 km (48 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Ayutuxtepeque

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
78 km (48 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Cuscatancingo

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
78 km (48 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Mejicanos

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
79 km (49 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Delgado

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
79 km (49 mi)
NE from epicenter
Soyapango

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
81 km (50 mi)
NE from epicenter
Ilopango

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
84 km (52 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Quezaltepeque

La Libertad, El Salvador.
III
Weak
86 km (53 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Apopa

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
87 km (54 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Zacatecoluca

La Paz, El Salvador.
III
Weak
93 km (58 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Ahuachapán

Ahuachapán, El Salvador.
III
Weak
95 km (59 mi)
NE from epicenter
Cojutepeque

Cuscatlán, El Salvador.
III
Weak
96 km (60 mi)
N from epicenter
Chalchuapa

Santa Ana, El Salvador.
III
Weak
96 km (60 mi)
N from epicenter
Santa Ana

Santa Ana, El Salvador.
III
Weak
100 km (62 mi)
NE from epicenter
San Vicente

San Vicente, El Salvador.
III
Weak
101 km (63 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Aguilares

San Salvador, El Salvador.
III
Weak
101 km (63 mi)
NE from epicenter
San Martín

Cuscatlán, El Salvador.
III
Weak
112 km (70 mi)
E from epicenter
Puerto El Triunfo

Usulután, El Salvador.
III
Weak
122 km (76 mi)
NE from epicenter
Chalatenango

Chalatenango, El Salvador.
III
Weak
124 km (77 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Usulután

Usulután, El Salvador.
III
Weak
126 km (78 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Santiago de María

Usulután, El Salvador.
III
Weak
130 km (81 mi)
NE from epicenter
Sensuntepeque

Cabañas, El Salvador.
III
Weak
134 km (83 mi)
N from epicenter
Metapán

Santa Ana, El Salvador.
III
Weak
134 km (83 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Jutiapa

Jutiapa, Guatemala.
III
Weak
135 km (84 mi)
ENE from epicenter
San Rafael Oriente

San Miguel, El Salvador.
III
Weak
155 km (96 mi)
ENE from epicenter
San Miguel

San Miguel, El Salvador.
III
Weak
156 km (97 mi)
NW from epicenter
Barberena

Santa Rosa, Guatemala.
III
Weak
171 km (106 mi)
ENE from epicenter
San Francisco

Morazán, El Salvador.
III
Weak
173 km (107 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Jalapa

Jalapa, Guatemala.
III
Weak
175 km (109 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Fraijanes

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
181 km (112 mi)
NNW from epicenter
San José Pinula

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
183 km (114 mi)
NW from epicenter
Villa Canales

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
185 km (115 mi)
NW from epicenter
Escuintla

Escuintla, Guatemala.
III
Weak
185 km (115 mi)
N from epicenter
Chiquimula

Chiquimula, Guatemala.
III
Weak
186 km (116 mi)
NW from epicenter
Petapa

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
186 km (116 mi)
NW from epicenter
Palín

Escuintla, Guatemala.
III
Weak
188 km (117 mi)
NW from epicenter
Amatitlán

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
188 km (117 mi)
E from epicenter
La Unión

La Unión, El Salvador.
III
Weak
189 km (117 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Santa Catarina Pinula

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
190 km (118 mi)
NW from epicenter
Villa Nueva

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
196 km (122 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Sanarate

El Progreso, Guatemala.
III
Weak
196 km (122 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Guatemala City

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
201 km (125 mi)
NW from epicenter
Mixco

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
201 km (125 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Chinautla

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
201 km (125 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Santa Rosa de Copán

Copán, Honduras.
III
Weak
202 km (126 mi)
NW from epicenter
Antigua Guatemala

Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.
III
Weak
205 km (127 mi)
N from epicenter
Zacapa

Zacapa, Guatemala.
211 km (131 mi)
NW from epicenter
San Juan Sacatepéquez

Guatemala, Guatemala.
III
Weak
217 km (135 mi)
NW from epicenter
Chimaltenango

Chimaltenango, Guatemala.
III
Weak
232 km (144 mi)
E from epicenter
San Lorenzo

Valle, Honduras.
233 km (145 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Salamá

Baja Verapaz, Guatemala.
243 km (151 mi)
ENE from epicenter
La Paz

La Paz, Honduras.
246 km (153 mi)
NE from epicenter
Santa Bárbara

Santa Bárbara, Honduras.
II
Weak
252 km (157 mi)
NW from epicenter
Sololá

Sololá, Guatemala.
II
Weak
255 km (158 mi)
NE from epicenter
Comayagua

Comayagua, Honduras.
259 km (161 mi)
E from epicenter
Ciudad Choluteca

Choluteca, Honduras.
260 km (162 mi)
NW from epicenter
Mazatenango

Suchitepeque, Guatemala.
261 km (162 mi)
NW from epicenter
Chichicastenango

Quiché, Guatemala.
270 km (168 mi)
E from epicenter
Chinandega

Chinandega, Nicaragua.
272 km (169 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Morales

Izabal, Guatemala.
274 km (170 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Cobán

Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
276 km (171 mi)
NW from epicenter
Totonicapán

Totonicapán, Guatemala.
II
Weak
276 km (171 mi)
NW from epicenter
Retalhuleu

Retalhuleu, Guatemala.
277 km (172 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Tegucigalpa

Francisco Morazán, Honduras.
283 km (176 mi)
NW from epicenter
Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
296 km (184 mi)
NE from epicenter
Villanueva

Cortés, Honduras.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The maximum intensity (MMI Scale) caused by this earthquake is IV. The map below shows in which areas this earthquake was the most and least impactful. It is based on data from the US Geographic Survey.

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 21 people in 2 countries

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 21 people have reported shaking in 10 places in 2 countries (El Salvador, Guatemala).We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala, Guatemala: 7 people.
  • Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, El Salvador: 4 people.
  • Nueva San Salvador, La Libertad, El Salvador: 2 people.
  • Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala: 2 people.
  • Apopa, San Salvador, El Salvador: 1 person.
  • Mejicanos, San Salvador, El Salvador: 1 person.
  • San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador: 1 person.
  • Chinautla, Guatemala, Guatemala: 1 person.
  • Guatemala, Guatemala, Guatemala: 1 person.
  • San José Pinula, Guatemala, Guatemala: 1 person.

5 Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 5 smaller aftershocks occurred. At a distance of 6 km (4 mi) west of this earthquake, an aftershock struck 12 hrs later. It measured a magnitude of 5

Before this earthquake struck, 3 smaller foreshocks occurred. Nearby this earthquake a foreshock struck 24 hrs earlier. It measured a magnitude of 4.2

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 3.8 2 days earlier
Feb 4, 2024 02:44PM (El Salvador Time)
32 km (20 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.2 24 hrs earlier
Feb 5, 2024 08:21AM (El Salvador Time)
65 km (41 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.7 21 hrs earlier
Feb 5, 2024 10:43AM (El Salvador Time)
28 km (17 mi)
SSE from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.1 Feb 6, 2024 07:53AM
(El Salvador Time)
-
Aftershock M 4.4 17 mins later
Feb 6, 2024 08:10AM (El Salvador Time)
40 km (25 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.8 2 hrs later
Feb 6, 2024 09:58AM (El Salvador Time)
38 km (24 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 5.0 12 hrs later
Feb 6, 2024 08:04PM (El Salvador Time)
6 km (4 mi)
W from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.9 1 day later
Feb 7, 2024 10:08AM (El Salvador Time)
36 km (22 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.1 2 days later
Feb 7, 2024 10:36PM (El Salvador Time)
34 km (21 mi)
SW 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?

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 happen often in the region

Earthquakes of this strength are very common in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since January 27th, 2024, when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit 153 km (95 mi) further northwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck on October 14th, 2014.

In total, 102 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.1 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 month.

Low 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.

Based on early data it appears this earthquake was not strong enough (lower than MAG-6.5) to be likely to cause destructive tsunami's. However this earthquake appeared to have hit at a shallow depth under sea, so 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 under the sea. Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 66 km (41 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 02:38 (). 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 us7000lxb4
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240206_0000162
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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