Written by on . Last updated July 4th, 2024.

In the Seram Sea 311 kilometer from Ambon, Indonesia, a shallow and strong MAG-6.1 earthquake occurred deep in the night of Monday May 6th, 2024. Roughly 400 thousand people may have felt this earthquake.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Seram Sea, 21 kilometers (13 mi) off the coast of Indonesia, 311 kilometer east of Ambon in Maluku. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 16 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: May 6, 2024 03:33 (Jayapura Time)
- May 5, 2024 18:33 Universal Time.
Location: 311 km east of Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia.
Coordinates 3°19'1"S 130°57'21"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 6.1
Detected by 63 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.039 .
Depth: 16 km (10 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
VII
Very Strong

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 400 thousand people exposed to shaking

An estimated 400 thousand have been exposed to shaking (An MMI or Modified Mercalli Intensity level II or higher) as a result of this earthquake according scientific estimates published by the USGS.

The highest earthquake impact level for this earthquake is VI, which corresponds with strong shaking and probably light damage. Roughly 6,540 people are expected to be exposed to this level. The majority of people (roughly 200 thousand) 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 Indonesia .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
0
II
Very weak None
142,500
III
Weak Probably none
202,600
IV
Light Likely none
51,390
V
Moderate Very light
6,540
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 Indonesia . Located 226 kilometer (140 mi) east of the epicenter of this earthquake, Amahai (Maluku, Indonesia) is the nearest significant population center.

A complete list of nearby places is included below.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
226 km (140 mi)
W from epicenter
Amahai

Maluku, Indonesia.
273 km (170 mi)
N from epicenter
Sorong

West Papua, Indonesia.
311 km (193 mi)
W from epicenter
Ambon

Maluku, Indonesia.
325 km (202 mi)
SE from epicenter
Tual

Maluku, 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 VI.

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 1 person

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 1 person has reported shaking in one place in Indonesia.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia: 1 person.

28 Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 28 smaller aftershocks occurred. Just 2 hrs after this main shock, an earthquake measuring MAG-5.5 was detected 2.5 km (1.6 mi) west-northwest of this earthquake.

This main shock was prefaced by 2 smaller foreshocks. Nearby this earthquake a foreshock struck 8 hrs earlier. It measured a magnitude of 4.9

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.7 1 day earlier
May 4, 2024 15:38 (Jayapura Time)
61 km (38 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.9 8 hrs earlier
May 5, 2024 19:39 (Jayapura Time)
27 km (17 mi)
NW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 6.1 May 6, 2024 03:33
(Jayapura Time)
-
Aftershock M 3.9 25 mins later
May 6, 2024 03:58 (Jayapura Time)
12 km (8 mi)
NNE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.6 30 mins later
May 6, 2024 04:03 (Jayapura Time)
13 km (8 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.1 38 mins later
May 6, 2024 04:10 (Jayapura Time)
23 km (14 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.7 1 hr later
May 6, 2024 04:36 (Jayapura Time)
14 km (9 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.0 1 hr later
May 6, 2024 04:51 (Jayapura Time)
15 km (9 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 1 hr later
May 6, 2024 04:55 (Jayapura Time)
6 km (4 mi)
NNE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 5.5 2 hrs later
May 6, 2024 05:37 (Jayapura Time)
2.5 km (1.6 mi)
WNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 2 hrs later
May 6, 2024 05:50 (Jayapura Time)
23 km (14 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.4 2 hrs later
May 6, 2024 05:56 (Jayapura Time)
21 km (13 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.7 3 hrs later
May 6, 2024 06:07 (Jayapura Time)
22 km (14 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.2 3 hrs later
May 6, 2024 06:32 (Jayapura Time)
18 km (11 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.8 4 hrs later
May 6, 2024 07:58 (Jayapura Time)
10 km (6 mi)
NE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 5 hrs later
May 6, 2024 08:19 (Jayapura Time)
21 km (13 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 5 hrs later
May 6, 2024 08:39 (Jayapura Time)
24 km (15 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.7 5 hrs later
May 6, 2024 08:43 (Jayapura Time)
16 km (10 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.6 7 hrs later
May 6, 2024 10:03 (Jayapura Time)
16 km (10 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.0 7 hrs later
May 6, 2024 10:21 (Jayapura Time)
15 km (9 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 7 hrs later
May 6, 2024 10:50 (Jayapura Time)
19 km (12 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.1 7 hrs later
May 6, 2024 11:00 (Jayapura Time)
18 km (11 mi)
NNE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.0 9 hrs later
May 6, 2024 12:22 (Jayapura Time)
23 km (15 mi)
NNE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.1 10 hrs later
May 6, 2024 13:55 (Jayapura Time)
12 km (7 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.9 11 hrs later
May 6, 2024 14:10 (Jayapura Time)
21 km (13 mi)
NNE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.7 14 hrs later
May 6, 2024 17:33 (Jayapura Time)
11 km (7 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.4 20 hrs later
May 6, 2024 23:24 (Jayapura Time)
25 km (16 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.0 2 days later
May 7, 2024 23:14 (Jayapura Time)
18 km (11 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 2 days later
May 8, 2024 02:00 (Jayapura Time)
21 km (13 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.1 2 days later
May 8, 2024 07:34 (Jayapura Time)
19 km (12 mi)
NNW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.5 3 days later
May 8, 2024 17:42 (Jayapura Time)
24 km (15 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?

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).

This is the strongest earthquake in 5 years

Earthquakes of this strength are not so common in the region, but it's not the first time. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since September 25th, 2019, when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit 287 km (179 mi) further west. An even stronger magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck on December 9th, 2015.

In total, 2 earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.1 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 5 years.

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 6.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 16 km (10 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 04/07/24 08:08 (). 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 us6000mwjd
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240505_0000227
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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