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

A significant MAG-5.7 earthquake struck in the Sawu Sea 85 kilometer from Ende, Indonesia in the morning of Sunday March 24th, 2024. Around 2.9 million people have been exposed to shaking.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Sawu Sea, 71 kilometers (44 mi) off the coast of Indonesia, 85 kilometer south-east of Ende in East Nusa Tenggara. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 74 km.

Date and Time: Mar 24, 2024 11:04 (Makassar Time)
- Mar 24, 2024 03:04 Universal Time.
Location: 85 km SE of Ende, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Coordinates 9°24'26"S 122°11'7"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.7
Detected by 9 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.103 .
Depth: 74 km (46 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Max. Intensity:

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 2.9 million people exposed to shaking

This earthquake may have been felt by around 2.9 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.

The highest earthquake impact level for this earthquake is IV, which corresponds with light shaking and likely no damage. Roughly 640,500 people are expected to be exposed to this level. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 2.3 million). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected.

People in 2 countries have been exposed to shaking. In Indonesia , around 2.9 million people, with impact levels up to IV (light shaking, likely no damage). People were exposed to shaking in Timor-Leste as well.

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
Not noticable None
Very weak None
Weak Probably none
Light Likely none
Moderate Very light
Strong Light
Very Strong Moderate
Severe Moderate to heavy
Violent Heavy
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Indonesia . Located 85 kilometer (53 mi) south-east of the epicenter of this earthquake, Ende (East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia) is the nearest significant population center. The intensity of shaking and damage in Ende is estimated to be around level IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (light shaking, likely 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)
85 km (53 mi)
NW from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
88 km (55 mi)
N from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
177 km (110 mi)
ESE from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
209 km (130 mi)
WNW from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
212 km (132 mi)
W from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
236 km (147 mi)
ESE from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
252 km (157 mi)
E from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
272 km (169 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Labuan Bajo

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
299 km (186 mi)
E from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The graph below overlays a map of the region around the epicenter with earthquake intensity data provided by the US Geographic Survey. The highest intensity level detected for this earthquake is IV.

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

In the days before this main shock, 1 smaller foreshock was detected. Roughly 13 hrs before this earthquake, a foreshock measuring MAG-4.1 was detected nearby this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.1 13 hrs earlier
Mar 23, 2024 22:02 (Makassar Time)
79 km (49 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.7 Mar 24, 2024 11:04
(Makassar 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.

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 are common in the region

Earthquakes of this strength occur quite regularly in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since November 1st, 2023, when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit 186 km (116 mi) further east-southeast. An even stronger magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck on December 14th, 2021.

In total, 12 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 10 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 74 km (46 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 17/04/24 04:08 (). 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 us6000mkvx
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240324_0000027
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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