Written by on . Last updated April 17th, 2024.

In the Maluku Sea 186 kilometer from Manado, Indonesia, a significant MAG-5.7 earthquake occurred in the night of Thursday March 14th, 2024. Shaking may have been felt by a total of 2.3 million people.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Maluku Sea, 112 kilometers (69 mi) off the coast of Indonesia, 186 kilometer south-southeast of Manado in North Sulawesi. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 39 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Mar 14, 2024 02:56 (Makassar Time)
- Mar 13, 2024 18:56 Universal Time.
Location: 186 km SSE of Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Coordinates 0°8'45"N 125°14'44"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.7
Detected by 23 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.065 .
Depth: 39 km (24 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 2.3 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 2.3 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.

The highest earthquake impact level for this earthquake is IV, which corresponds with light shaking and likely no damage. Roughly 418,100 people are expected to be exposed to this level. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 1.9 million). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Indonesia .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
0
II
Very weak None
1,919,000
III
Weak Probably none
418,100
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 Indonesia . Tondano in North Sulawesi, Indonesia is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 166 kilometer (103 mi) south-southeast of Tondano. Tondano experienced an earthquake intensity (MMI Scale) of roughly III. That level implies weak shaking and probably no damage.

Multiple major population centers exist within 300km of the earthquake that struck today. Manado is located 186 km to the north-northwest and experienced an intensity of III (weak shaking, probably no damage). Gorontalo is located 254 km to the west-northwest (intensity unknown, possibly low). Ternate is located 260 km to the east-northeast (intensity unknown, possibly low).

An overview of nearby towns and cities is available in the overview below. If places don't have intensity data available, it likely means the experienced impact in those places was fairly small.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
166 km (103 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Tondano

North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
III
Weak
170 km (106 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Tomohon

North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
III
Weak
186 km (116 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Manado

North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
III
Weak
254 km (158 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Gorontalo

Gorontalo, Indonesia.
260 km (162 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Ternate

North Maluku, Indonesia.
275 km (171 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Sofifi

North Maluku, Indonesia.
288 km (179 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Luwuk

Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
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.

Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 1 smaller aftershock occurred. A 5 magnitude earthquake hit 10 mins later 2.7 km (1.7 mi) northwest of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.7 Mar 14, 2024 02:56
(Makassar Time)
-
Aftershock M 5.0 10 mins later
Mar 14, 2024 03:06 (Makassar Time)
2.7 km (1.7 mi)
NW 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 November 15th, 2023, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit 268 km (167 mi) further north-northwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on November 14th, 2019.

In total, 36 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.7 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 3 months.

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 5.7. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 39 km (24 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 17/04/24 03:48 (). 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 us6000minw
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240313_0000258
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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