Written by on . Last updated July 11th, 2024.

A shallow M4.9 earthquake struck under land 30 kilometer from Mexicali in Mexico in the morning of Sunday May 12th, 2024. Roughly 10 million people may have felt this earthquake. Another country near the epicenter is The United States.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Mexico, 30 kilometer (19 mi) south-east of Mexicali in Baja California. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 9 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: May 12, 2024 11:22 (Tijuana Time)
- May 12, 2024 18:22 Universal Time.
Location: 30 km SE of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Coordinates 32°25'29"N 115°14'26"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.9
Detected by 40 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.2 .
Depth: 9 km (5 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
VI
Strong

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake, it appears to have occurred under land with a magnitude 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 10 million people exposed to shaking

This earthquake may have been felt by around 10 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 V, which corresponds with moderate shaking and very light damage. Roughly 68,100 people are expected to be exposed to this level. The majority of people (roughly 8 million) live in an area exposed to level II, where very weak shaking and no damage is expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Mexico .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
572,700
I
Not noticable None
7,768,000
II
Very weak None
331,200
III
Weak Probably none
1,369,000
IV
Light Likely none
68,100
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

Mexico and The United States are both located within 300km distance of the epicenter of the earthquake.

Puebla in Baja California, Mexico is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 19 kilometer (12 mi) south-east of Puebla. Puebla experienced an earthquake intensity (MMI Scale) of roughly IV. That level implies light shaking and likely no damage.

Major cities near this earthquake: Mexicali is located 30 km to the northwest and experienced an intensity of IV (light shaking, likely no damage). Tijuana is located 166 km to the west and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, no damage). San Diego is located 114 mi to the west and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, 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)
19 km (12 mi)
NW from epicenter
Puebla

Baja California, Mexico.
IV
Light
20 km (12 mi)
SE from epicenter
Guadalupe Victoria

Baja California, Mexico.
IV
Light
30 km (19 mi)
NW from epicenter
Mexicali

Baja California, Mexico.
IV
Light
23 mi (37 km)
NW from epicenter
Calexico

California, The United States.
IV
Light
39 km (24 mi)
NW from epicenter
Santa Isabel

Baja California, Mexico.
IV
Light
27 mi (44 km)
E from epicenter
San Luis

Arizona, The United States.
III
Weak
44 km (27 mi)
E from epicenter
San Luis Río Colorado

Sonora, Mexico.
III
Weak
32 mi (51 km)
NW from epicenter
El Centro

California, The United States.
IV
Light
33 mi (53 km)
ENE from epicenter
Somerton

Arizona, The United States.
III
Weak
35 mi (56 km)
NW from epicenter
Imperial

California, The United States.
IV
Light
42 mi (67 km)
ENE from epicenter
Yuma

Arizona, The United States.
III
Weak
42 mi (67 km)
NNW from epicenter
Brawley

California, The United States.
III
Weak
51 mi (82 km)
ENE from epicenter
Fortuna Foothills

Arizona, The United States.
III
Weak
131 km (81 mi)
W from epicenter
Tecate

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
142 km (88 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Ensenada

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
148 km (92 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
103 mi (165 km)
NNW from epicenter
Coachella

California, The United States.
II
Weak
166 km (103 mi)
W from epicenter
Tijuana

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
103 mi (166 km)
WNW from epicenter
El Cajon

California, The United States.
II
Weak
168 km (104 mi)
W from epicenter
Pórticos de San Antonio

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
104 mi (168 km)
W from epicenter
La Presa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
105 mi (169 km)
WNW from epicenter
Santee

California, The United States.
II
Weak
170 km (106 mi)
W from epicenter
Rosarito

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
106 mi (170 km)
NNW from epicenter
Indio

California, The United States.
II
Weak
106 mi (170 km)
NW from epicenter
La Quinta

California, The United States.
II
Weak
106 mi (171 km)
WNW from epicenter
La Mesa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
108 mi (174 km)
W from epicenter
Chula Vista

California, The United States.
II
Weak
109 mi (176 km)
W from epicenter
National City

California, The United States.
II
Weak
111 mi (178 km)
WNW from epicenter
Poway

California, The United States.
II
Weak
111 mi (179 km)
NW from epicenter
Palm Desert

California, The United States.
II
Weak
114 mi (183 km)
W from epicenter
San Diego

California, The United States.
II
Weak
115 mi (185 km)
WNW from epicenter
Rancho Penasquitos

California, The United States.
II
Weak
116 mi (186 km)
WNW from epicenter
Mira Mesa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
117 mi (189 km)
NW from epicenter
Cathedral City

California, The United States.
II
Weak
117 mi (189 km)
WNW from epicenter
Escondido

California, The United States.
II
Weak
122 mi (196 km)
WNW from epicenter
La Jolla

California, The United States.
II
Weak
122 mi (197 km)
WNW from epicenter
San Marcos

California, The United States.
II
Weak
123 mi (198 km)
NW from epicenter
Palm Springs

California, The United States.
II
Weak
128 mi (206 km)
WNW from epicenter
Vista

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
132 mi (213 km)
WNW from epicenter
Carlsbad

California, The United States.
133 mi (214 km)
WNW from epicenter
Temecula

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
135 mi (218 km)
WNW from epicenter
Oceanside

California, The United States.
155 mi (250 km)
NW from epicenter
Moreno Valley

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
163 mi (263 km)
NW from epicenter
Riverside

California, The United States.
166 mi (267 km)
NW from epicenter
San Bernardino

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
168 mi (270 km)
NW from epicenter
Corona

California, The United States.
171 mi (276 km)
NW from epicenter
Fontana

California, The United States.
173 mi (278 km)
WNW from epicenter
Irvine

California, The United States.
177 mi (285 km)
WNW from epicenter
Santa Ana

California, The United States.
181 mi (292 km)
WNW from epicenter
Huntington Beach

California, The United States.
183 mi (294 km)
WNW from epicenter
Anaheim

California, The United States.
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 49 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 49 people have reported shaking in 6 places, all within Mexico.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico: 21 people.
  • Puebla, Baja California, Mexico: 21 people.
  • San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora, Mexico: 3 people.
  • Delta, Baja California, Mexico: 2 people.
  • Progreso, Baja California, Mexico: 1 person.
  • Reacomodo, Baja California, Mexico: 1 person.

35 Aftershocks detected

This main shock was followed by 35 smaller aftershocks. A 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit 41 mins later 1.6 km (1 mi) south-southwest of this earthquake.

In the days before this main shock, 6 smaller foreshocks were detected. Nearby this earthquake a foreshock struck 59 mins earlier. It measured a magnitude of 3.3

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 2.5 3 days earlier
May 9, 2024 14:19 (Tijuana Time)
11 km (7 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
May 10, 2024 22:47 (Tijuana Time)
21 km (13 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.3 59 mins earlier
May 12, 2024 10:24 (Tijuana Time)
1 km (0.6 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.5 56 mins earlier
May 12, 2024 10:26 (Tijuana Time)
1 km (0.6 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 39 mins earlier
May 12, 2024 10:43 (Tijuana Time)
0.7 km (0.4 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.7 17 mins earlier
May 12, 2024 11:05 (Tijuana Time)
5 km (3 mi)
S from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.9 May 12, 2024 11:22
(Tijuana Time)
-
Aftershock M 3.4 2 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:25 (Tijuana Time)
3 km (2.1 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.6 3 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:25 (Tijuana Time)
2.4 km (1.5 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.5 3 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:25 (Tijuana Time)
0.9 km (0.6 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 4 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:26 (Tijuana Time)
1.3 km (0.8 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.2 5 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:28 (Tijuana Time)
0.5 km (0.3 mi)
SSE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.0 6 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:28 (Tijuana Time)
19 km (12 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 8 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:31 (Tijuana Time)
1.7 km (1.1 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.8 10 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:32 (Tijuana Time)
2.7 km (1.7 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.0 11 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:33 (Tijuana Time)
2.2 km (1.4 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.9 13 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:35 (Tijuana Time)
2.2 km (1.4 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.7 13 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:36 (Tijuana Time)
3 km (2.1 mi)
S from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.7 16 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:38 (Tijuana Time)
1.1 km (0.7 mi)
E from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.7 18 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:40 (Tijuana Time)
3 km (2 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.2 19 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:42 (Tijuana Time)
1.3 km (0.8 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.6 22 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:45 (Tijuana Time)
2.1 km (1.3 mi)
W from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.9 25 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:48 (Tijuana Time)
2.8 km (1.7 mi)
NE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 27 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:49 (Tijuana Time)
3 km (2 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 29 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:51 (Tijuana Time)
1.9 km (1.2 mi)
E from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.6 31 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:53 (Tijuana Time)
1.3 km (0.8 mi)
E from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.8 34 mins later
May 12, 2024 11:56 (Tijuana Time)
1 km (0.6 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.6 41 mins later
May 12, 2024 12:04 (Tijuana Time)
1.6 km (1 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 1 hr later
May 12, 2024 12:32 (Tijuana Time)
1.7 km (1.1 mi)
WSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.5 2 hrs later
May 12, 2024 12:56 (Tijuana Time)
0.2 km (0.1 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.5 2 hrs later
May 12, 2024 13:00 (Tijuana Time)
5 km (3 mi)
SSW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 2 hrs later
May 12, 2024 13:46 (Tijuana Time)
4 km (2.2 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.2 6 hrs later
May 12, 2024 17:04 (Tijuana Time)
1.8 km (1.1 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.6 7 hrs later
May 12, 2024 18:44 (Tijuana Time)
0.5 km (0.3 mi)
E from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.5 9 hrs later
May 12, 2024 20:46 (Tijuana Time)
3 km (2 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 4.2 10 hrs later
May 12, 2024 21:02 (Tijuana Time)
1.6 km (1 mi)
NE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.6 10 hrs later
May 12, 2024 21:07 (Tijuana Time)
1.7 km (1.1 mi)
NE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.0 10 hrs later
May 12, 2024 21:08 (Tijuana Time)
2.3 km (1.4 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.7 10 hrs later
May 12, 2024 21:09 (Tijuana Time)
1.1 km (0.7 mi)
SE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.8 15 hrs later
May 13, 2024 02:11 (Tijuana Time)
1.2 km (0.7 mi)
N from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 3.3 2 days later
May 14, 2024 11:56 (Tijuana Time)
2.1 km (1.3 mi)
SSE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.5 2 days later
May 14, 2024 12:04 (Tijuana Time)
1 km (0.6 mi)
E 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.

In only six percent of cases, significant earthquakes are followed by a larger main shock, making the current earthquake a foreshock. While the chance of this happening is not so large, it is adviced to maintain cautiousness in the hours and days following a major 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 November 22nd, 2022, when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit 212 km (131 mi) further south-southwest. That was also the heaviest earthquake to hit the region in the past 10 years.

In total, 17 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.9 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 7 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 Not this earthquake.
This earthquake appears to have struck on land far from any coast.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 4.9. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 9 km (5 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 11/07/24 03:38 (). 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 ci40746912
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240512_0000166
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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