Written by on . Last updated April 16th, 2024.

Under land 43 kilometer from Hachinohe in Japan, a significant M5.9 earthquake occurred in the night of Tuesday April 2nd, 2024. Shaking may have been felt by a total of 5.6 million people.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Japan, 43 kilometer (27 mi) south-southeast of Hachinohe in Aomori. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 73 km.

Date and Time: Apr 2, 2024 04:24 (Tokyo Time)
- Apr 1, 2024 19:24 Universal Time.
Location: 43 km SSE of Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan.
Coordinates 40°8'29"N 141°42'1"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.9
Detected by 48 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.045 .
Depth: 73 km (46 mi)
An intermediate 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 (10 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 5.6 million people exposed to shaking

The USGS has published a report estimating the number of people exposed to this earthquake. Acoording to their analysis, roughly 5.6 million have been exposed to shaking at an MMI level of II or higher.

An estimated 600,400 people were exposed to level V. At this level, moderate shaking and very light damage can be expected. The majority of people (roughly 4.6 million) live in an area exposed to level IV, where light shaking and likely no damage is expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Japan .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
0
II
Very weak None
456,600
III
Weak Probably none
4,577,000
IV
Light Likely none
600,400
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 Japan . The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Hachinohe in Aomori, Japan. Hachinohe is located 43 kilometer (27 mi) south-southeast of the epicenter. The intensity of shaking and damage in Hachinohe is estimated to be around level V on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (moderate shaking, very light damage).

Multiple major population centers exist within 300km of the earthquake that struck today. Sapporo is located 327 km to the north (intensity unknown, possibly low). Hachinohe is located 43 km to the north-northwest and experienced an intensity of V (moderate shaking, very light damage). Sendai is located 220 km to the south-southwest (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)
43 km (27 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Hachinohe

Aomori, Japan.
V
Moderate
59 km (37 mi)
SSE from epicenter
Miyako

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
66 km (41 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Misawa

Aomori, Japan.
V
Moderate
68 km (42 mi)
SW from epicenter
Morioka

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
78 km (48 mi)
W from epicenter
Hanawa

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
78 km (48 mi)
SSE from epicenter
Yamada

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
79 km (49 mi)
SW from epicenter
Shizukuishi

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
93 km (58 mi)
S from epicenter
Tōno

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
97 km (60 mi)
S from epicenter
Kamaishi

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
98 km (61 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Hanamaki

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
98 km (61 mi)
W from epicenter
Ōdate

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
108 km (67 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Kitakami

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
110 km (68 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Kuroishi

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
111 km (69 mi)
NW from epicenter
Aomori

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
113 km (70 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Namioka

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
114 km (71 mi)
W from epicenter
Takanosu

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
116 km (72 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Kanegasaki

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
116 km (72 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Hirosaki

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
119 km (74 mi)
S from epicenter
Ōfunato

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
122 km (76 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Mizusawa

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
129 km (80 mi)
SW from epicenter
Ōmagari

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
130 km (81 mi)
NW from epicenter
Goshogawara

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
134 km (83 mi)
SW from epicenter
Yokote

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
134 km (83 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Mutsu

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
135 km (84 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Shimokizukuri

Aomori, Japan.
IV
Light
142 km (88 mi)
W from epicenter
Noshiro

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
143 km (89 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Akita

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
145 km (90 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Ichinoseki

Iwate, Japan.
IV
Light
149 km (93 mi)
SW from epicenter
Yuzawa

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
150 km (93 mi)
W from epicenter
Tennō

Akita, Japan.
IV
Light
186 km (116 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Kogota

Miyagi, Japan.
IV
Light
186 km (116 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Furukawa

Miyagi, Japan.
IV
Light
195 km (121 mi)
SW from epicenter
Shinjō

Yamagata, Japan.
IV
Light
195 km (121 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Yamoto

Miyagi, Japan.
IV
Light
195 km (121 mi)
S from epicenter
Ishinomaki

Miyagi, Japan.
IV
Light
199 km (124 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Hakodate

Hokkaido, Japan.
IV
Light
207 km (129 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Tomiya

Miyagi, Japan.
IV
Light
209 km (130 mi)
SW from epicenter
Sakata

Yamagata, Japan.
IV
Light
211 km (131 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Shiogama

Miyagi, Japan.
220 km (137 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Sendai

Miyagi, Japan.
226 km (140 mi)
SW from epicenter
Tsuruoka

Yamagata, Japan.
III
Weak
229 km (142 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Tendō

Yamagata, Japan.
IV
Light
241 km (150 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Yamagata

Yamagata, Japan.
249 km (155 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Muroran

Hokkaido, Japan.
278 km (173 mi)
N from epicenter
Tomakomai

Hokkaido, Japan.
283 km (176 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Yonezawa

Yamagata, Japan.
287 km (178 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Fukushima

Fukushima, Japan.
326 km (203 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Kōriyama

Fukushima, Japan.
327 km (203 mi)
N from epicenter
Sapporo

Hokkaido, Japan.
342 km (213 mi)
SW from epicenter
Niigata

Niigata, Japan.
351 km (218 mi)
S from epicenter
Iwaki

Fukushima, Japan.
379 km (235 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Nasushiobara

Tochigi, Japan.
382 km (237 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Kitaibaraki

Ibaraki, Japan.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The maximum intensity (MMI Scale) caused by this earthquake is V. 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 14 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 14 people have reported shaking in 8 places, all within Japan.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Misawa, Aomori, Japan: 4 people.
  • Sendai, Miyagi, Japan: 4 people.
  • Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan: 1 person.
  • Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan: 1 person.
  • Iwate, Iwate, Japan: 1 person.
  • Morioka, Iwate, Japan: 1 person.
  • Tagajō, Miyagi, Japan: 1 person.
  • Higashimurayama, Tokio, Japan: 1 person.

Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 1 smaller aftershock occurred. Just 1 day after this main shock, an earthquake measuring MAG-3.6 was detected 76 km (47 mi) south-southwest of this earthquake.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.9 Apr 2, 2024 04:24
(Tokyo Time)
-
Aftershock M 3.6 1 day later
Apr 3, 2024 06:27 (Tokyo Time)
76 km (47 mi)
SSW 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 August 11th, 2023, when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit 145 km (90 mi) further north-east. An even stronger magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck on March 16th, 2022.

In total, 30 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.9 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 4 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 (10 km from the sea). Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 73 km (46 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 16/04/24 20:28 (). 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 us7000m98g
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240401_0000199
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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