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

A shallow and significant M5.1 earthquake struck under land 262 kilometer from Nabire in Indonesia in the morning of Thursday March 21st, 2024.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Indonesia, 262 kilometer (163 mi) north-east of Nabire in Papua. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 3 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Mar 21, 2024 09:19 (Jayapura Time)
- Mar 21, 2024 00:19 Universal Time.
Location: 262 km NE of Nabire, Papua, Indonesia.
Coordinates 2°1'54"S 137°27'14"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 12 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.089 .
Depth: 3 km (2 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake in a coastal area, it appears to have occurred under land (19 km from the sea) with a magnitude that is usually not strong enough to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Indonesia . Nabire in Papua, Indonesia is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 262 kilometer (163 mi) north-east of Nabire.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
262 km (163 mi)
SW from epicenter
Nabire

Papua, Indonesia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Risk of aftershocks?

This earthquake did not have any significant foreshocks nor aftershocks occurring within 100km (62 mi) of its epicenter.

The risk of aftershocks decreases rapidly over time. Usually, aftershocks are at least one order of magnitude lower than a main shock.

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 December 30th, 2023, when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 238 km (148 mi) further east-southeast. An even stronger magnitude 7 earthquake struck on July 27th, 2015.

In total, 54 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 2 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 (19 km from 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 3 km (2 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 17/04/24 03:18 (). This article is automatically generated based on available data. We keep checking multiple sources for additional information. This article gets updated as new details on this earthquake become available.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us6000mk4w
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240321_0000005
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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