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

A strong M6.0 earthquake struck under land 68 kilometer from Kimbe in Papua New Guinea in the night of Thursday March 14th, 2024. Roughly 620 thousand people may have felt this earthquake.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Papua New Guinea, 68 kilometer (42 mi) east-southeast of Kimbe in West New Britain. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 44 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Mar 14, 2024 01:13 (Port Moresby Time)
- Mar 13, 2024 15:13 Universal Time.
Location: 68 km ESE of Kimbe, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 5°50'37"S 150°40'40"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 6.0
Detected by 56 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.041 .
Depth: 44 km (27 mi)
A quite shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
VI
Strong

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake in a coastal area, it appears to have occurred under land (23 km from the sea) with a magnitude that is usually not strong enough to 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 620 thousand people exposed to shaking

This earthquake may have been felt by around 620 thousand 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.

An estimated 1,640 people were exposed to level VI. At this level, strong shaking and probably light damage can be expected. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 320 thousand). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Papua New Guinea .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
0
II
Very weak None
319,700
III
Weak Probably none
208,900
IV
Light Likely none
90,070
V
Moderate Very light
1,640
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 Papua New Guinea . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Kimbe in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Kimbe is located 68 kilometer (42 mi) east-southeast of the epicenter. The intensity of shaking and damage in Kimbe is estimated to be around level IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (light shaking, likely no damage).

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
68 km (42 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Kimbe

West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
IV
Light
243 km (151 mi)
NE from epicenter
Kokopo

East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
III
Weak
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The maximum intensity (MMI Scale) caused by this earthquake is VI. 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 4 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 4 people have reported shaking in one place in Papua New Guinea.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Kimbe, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea: 4 people.

Aftershocks detected

Since this main shock, 1 smaller aftershock was detected. A 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit 3 days later 77 km (48 mi) north-northeast of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 6.0 Mar 14, 2024 01:13
(Port Moresby Time)
-
Aftershock M 5.2 3 days later
Mar 16, 2024 13:32 (Port Moresby Time)
77 km (48 mi)
NNE 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).

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 13th, 2023, when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit 222 km (138 mi) further north. An even stronger magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck on May 14th, 2019.

In total, 43 earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 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.

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.

While MAG-6.5+ earthquakes may cause tsunami's, it appears that the epicenter of this earthquake hit under land. In addition, the reported depth is deeper than 100km, making the risk of a tsunami even less likely. 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 on land near a coastal area (23 km from the sea). Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 6. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 44 km (27 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 17/04/24 02:18 (). 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 us6000milg
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240313_0000224
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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