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

A significant M5.3 earthquake struck in the South Pacific Ocean 239 kilometer from Labasa, Fiji in the evening of Friday February 9th, 2024.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the South Pacific Ocean, 150 kilometers (93 mi) off the coast of Fiji, 239 kilometer east-southeast of Labasa in Northern. The center of this earthquake had a deep depth of 542 km.

Date and Time: Feb 9, 2024 21:18 (Fiji Time)
- Feb 9, 2024 09:18 Universal Time.
Location: 239 km ESE of Labasa, Northern, Fiji.
Coordinates 17°31'48"S 178°42'8"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.3
Detected by 33 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.101 .
Depth: 542 km (336 mi)
A deep depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 at depths deeper than 100km are very unlikely to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Fiji . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Labasa in Northern, Fiji. Labasa is located 239 kilometer (149 mi) east-southeast of the epicenter.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
239 km (149 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Labasa

Northern, Fiji.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Aftershocks detected

This main shock was prefaced by 3 smaller foreshocks. Roughly 9 hrs before this earthquake, a foreshock measuring MAG-4.5 was detected nearby this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.5 2 days earlier
Feb 7, 2024 23:43 (Fiji Time)
13 km (8 mi)
SSE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.1 2 days earlier
Feb 8, 2024 06:59 (Fiji Time)
23 km (14 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.5 9 hrs earlier
Feb 9, 2024 12:17 (Fiji Time)
71 km (44 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.3 Feb 9, 2024 21:18
(Fiji 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.

The chance that a significant earthquake like this one is followed by an even larger earthquake is not so large. On average, scientists estimate a 94% chance that a major earthquake will not be followed by an even larger one. It is still adviced to be aware of this risk

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 November 3rd, 2023, when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit 32 km (20 mi) further south. An even stronger magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck on August 19th, 2018.

In total, 115 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 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.

For a serious tsunami to occur, earthquakes usually need to have a magnitude of at least 6.5 and occur at a shallow depth of maximum 100km. Neither are the case with this earthquake. 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 This earthquake appears to have struck under the sea. Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of 542 km (336 mi). Earthquakes this deep in the earth are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 11:58 (). 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 us7000lxye
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240209_0000141
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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