Written by on . Last updated May 30th, 2024.

A significant Magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck under land 212 kilometer from Lae in Papua New Guinea in the evening of Monday May 13th, 2024.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Papua New Guinea, 212 kilometer (132 mi) east-northeast of Lae in Morobe. The center of this earthquake had an intermediate depth of 173 km.

Date and Time: May 13, 2024 22:32 (Port Moresby Time)
- May 13, 2024 12:32 Universal Time.
Location: 212 km ENE of Lae, Morobe, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 5°44'46"S 148°38'38"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.2
Detected by 19 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.071 .
Depth: 173 km (108 mi)
An intermediate depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
Tsunami's are usually caused by MAG-6.5+ earthquakes, less than 100km shallow, and with an epicenter under sea. Neither of this seems to be the case.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Papua New Guinea . Located 167 kilometer (104 mi) west of the epicenter of this earthquake, Kimbe (West New Britain, Papua New Guinea) is the nearest significant population center.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
167 km (104 mi)
E from epicenter

West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
212 km (132 mi)
WSW from epicenter

Morobe, Papua New Guinea.
274 km (170 mi)
SW from epicenter

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

Risk of aftershocks?

We monitor for foreshocks or aftershocks that have a magnitude of 2.5+ and occur within 100km (62 mi) of the epicenter of this earthquake. So far no such earthquakes have been detected.

Earthquakes can create aftershocks. These are generally at least 1 magnitude lower than any main shock, and as time passes the chance and strength of aftershocks decreases.

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).

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 May 5th, 2024, when a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit 210 km (131 mi) further west. An even stronger magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck on September 10th, 2022.

In total, 131 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.2 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 28 days.

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.

It is very unlikely that this eartquake will cause any tsunami's. The reported magnitude is lower than the MAG-6.5 strength required to cause any earthquakes. In addition, this earthquake was not very shallow and appears to have occurred under land. 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 (8 km from the sea). Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.2. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of 173 km (108 mi). Earthquakes this deep in the earth are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 30/05/24 01:18 (). 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 us6000my9b
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240513_0000130
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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