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

In the morning of Sunday March 31st, 2024, a significant MAG-5.1 earthquake hit in the Solomon Sea 88 kilometer from Arawa, Papua New Guinea.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Solomon Sea, 26 kilometers (16 mi) off the coast of Papua New Guinea, 88 kilometer west of Arawa in Bougainville. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 72 km.

Date and Time: Mar 31, 2024 09:55 (Bougainville Time)
- Mar 30, 2024 22:55 Universal Time.
Location: 88 km west of Arawa, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 6°19'41"S 154°46'37"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 7 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.117 .
Depth: 72 km (44 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Papua New Guinea . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Arawa in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Arawa is located 88 kilometer (55 mi) west of the epicenter.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
88 km (55 mi)
E from epicenter

Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Aftershocks detected

This main shock was followed by 1 smaller aftershock. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit 1 day later 36 km (23 mi) east-northeast of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.1 Mar 31, 2024 09:55
(Bougainville Time)
Aftershock M 5.1 1 day later
Apr 1, 2024 12:39 (Bougainville Time)
36 km (23 mi)
ENE 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 January 13th, 2024, when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit 238 km (148 mi) further north-northwest. An even stronger magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck on January 22nd, 2017.

In total, 216 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 17 days.

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 5.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 72 km (44 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 17/04/24 01:08 (). 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 us7000m900
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240330_0000257
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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