Written by on . Last updated June 13th, 2024.

In the early morning of Monday May 20th, 2024, a shallow MAG-4.1 earthquake hit under land 71 miles from San Diego in The United States. The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake. Another nearby country is Mexico.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in The United States, 71 miles (114 km) east-northeast of San Diego in California. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 7 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: May 20, 2024 05:17AM (Los Angeles Time)
- May 20, 2024 12:17 Universal Time.
Location: 68 km NW of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Coordinates 33°1'41"N 116°0'17"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.1
Detected by 33 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.2 .
Depth: 7 mi (11 km)
A very shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
V
Moderate

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Potential tsunami risk
The USGS has indicated there is a potential risk at tsunami's following this earthquake.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Potential 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.

There is a potential tsunami risk in the aftermath of this earthquake, immediately evacuate to higher grounds away from coastal areas and monitor advice from local authorities. The US Geographic Survey organization has indicated a potential risk for tsunami's following this earthquake.

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 4.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 7 mi (11 km). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

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.

Light shaking and likely no damage may have been experienced by an estimated 4,560 people. At IV, it is the highest MMI level this earthquake has caused. Intensity level II was experienced by a large group of people (around 8 million). In their region, very weak shaking and no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Mexico .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
7,766,000
I
Not noticable None
8,175,000
II
Very weak None
1,725,000
III
Weak Probably none
4,560
IV
Light Likely none
0
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

2 countries can be found within 300km of the epicenter of this earthquake: The United States and Mexico .

Located 28 miles (45 km) west of the epicenter of this earthquake, Brawley (California, The United States) is the nearest significant population center. The intensity of shaking and damage in Brawley is estimated to be around level III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (weak shaking, probably no damage).

Major cities near this earthquake: Los Angeles is located 147 mi to the west-northwest (intensity unknown, possibly low). San Diego is located 71 mi to the west-southwest and experienced an intensity of II (very weak shaking, no damage). Tijuana is located 110 km to the west-southwest 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)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from epicenter
Imperial

California, The United States.
III
Weak
28 mi (45 km)
E from epicenter
Brawley

California, The United States.
III
Weak
30 mi (49 km)
ESE from epicenter
El Centro

California, The United States.
III
Weak
59 km (37 mi)
SE from epicenter
Santa Isabel

Baja California, Mexico.
III
Weak
38 mi (61 km)
SE from epicenter
Calexico

California, The United States.
III
Weak
68 km (42 mi)
SE from epicenter
Mexicali

Baja California, Mexico.
III
Weak
46 mi (74 km)
NNW from epicenter
Coachella

California, The United States.
II
Weak
47 mi (76 km)
NNW from epicenter
La Quinta

California, The United States.
II
Weak
77 km (48 mi)
SW from epicenter
Tecate

Baja California, Mexico.
III
Weak
50 mi (80 km)
NNW from epicenter
Indio

California, The United States.
II
Weak
80 km (50 mi)
SE from epicenter
Puebla

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
50 mi (81 km)
W from epicenter
Ramona

California, The United States.
III
Weak
53 mi (85 km)
NNW from epicenter
Palm Desert

California, The United States.
II
Weak
55 mi (88 km)
NNW from epicenter
Rancho Mirage

California, The United States.
II
Weak
55 mi (88 km)
WSW from epicenter
Lakeside

California, The United States.
III
Weak
55 mi (89 km)
WSW from epicenter
Winter Gardens

California, The United States.
II
Weak
56 mi (90 km)
WSW from epicenter
Bostonia

California, The United States.
III
Weak
57 mi (92 km)
WSW from epicenter
Rancho San Diego

California, The United States.
II
Weak
58 mi (93 km)
WSW from epicenter
El Cajon

California, The United States.
III
Weak
58 mi (93 km)
WSW from epicenter
Santee

California, The United States.
III
Weak
58 mi (94 km)
NNW from epicenter
Cathedral City

California, The United States.
II
Weak
59 mi (95 km)
WSW from epicenter
Casa de Oro-Mount Helix

California, The United States.
II
Weak
60 mi (96 km)
W from epicenter
Poway

California, The United States.
II
Weak
98 km (61 mi)
SW from epicenter
Terrazas del Valle

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
61 mi (98 km)
WSW from epicenter
Spring Valley

California, The United States.
II
Weak
62 mi (99 km)
WSW from epicenter
La Presa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
62 mi (99 km)
WSW from epicenter
La Mesa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
63 mi (101 km)
W from epicenter
Escondido

California, The United States.
III
Weak
65 mi (104 km)
W from epicenter
Rancho Penasquitos

California, The United States.
II
Weak
66 mi (107 km)
W from epicenter
Mira Mesa

California, The United States.
II
Weak
68 mi (109 km)
W from epicenter
San Marcos

California, The United States.
III
Weak
110 km (68 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Tijuana

Baja California, Mexico.
II
Weak
68 mi (110 km)
WSW from epicenter
Chula Vista

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

California, The United States.
II
Weak
73 mi (117 km)
W from epicenter
Vista

California, The United States.
III
Weak
73 mi (118 km)
WNW from epicenter
Temecula

California, The United States.
II
Weak
75 mi (120 km)
NW from epicenter
Hemet

California, The United States.
II
Weak
78 mi (126 km)
W from epicenter
Carlsbad

California, The United States.
II
Weak
79 mi (127 km)
WNW from epicenter
Murrieta

California, The United States.
II
Weak
80 mi (129 km)
W from epicenter
Oceanside

California, The United States.
II
Weak
132 km (82 mi)
ESE from epicenter
San Luis Río Colorado

Sonora, Mexico.
I
Not felt
83 mi (133 km)
ESE from epicenter
Yuma

Arizona, The United States.
I
Not felt
140 km (87 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Ensenada

Baja California, Mexico.
I
Not felt
94 mi (152 km)
NW from epicenter
Moreno Valley

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
103 mi (165 km)
NW from epicenter
Riverside

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
105 mi (169 km)
NW from epicenter
San Bernardino

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
107 mi (173 km)
WNW from epicenter
Corona

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

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
114 mi (183 km)
WNW from epicenter
Irvine

California, The United States.
II
Weak
118 mi (190 km)
WNW from epicenter
Santa Ana

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
124 mi (199 km)
WNW from epicenter
Anaheim

California, The United States.
I
Not felt
147 mi (237 km)
WNW from epicenter
Los Angeles

California, The United States.
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 7 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 7 people have reported shaking in 4 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:

  • Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico: 4 people.
  • Cuervos, Baja California, Mexico: 1 person.
  • La Joya, Baja California, Mexico: 1 person.
  • Tecate, Baja California, Mexico: 1 person.

Aftershocks detected

Before this earthquake struck, 31 smaller foreshocks occurred. A 3.9 magnitude earthquake hit 2 days earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 2.7 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 01:29AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (46 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.5 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 01:41AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.0 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 02:18AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.7 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 02:36AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.8 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 03:17AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.8 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:16AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.6 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 05:38AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 05:38AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.8 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 05:38AM (Los Angeles Time)
29 mi (46 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.5 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 05:41AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 07:44AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.7 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 08:52AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.8 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 09:02AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (46 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.5 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 09:30AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 11:58AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.8 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 12:17PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (44 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.4 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 12:46PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.0 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 02:23PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.5 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 03:58PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.9 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:05PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (44 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.4 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:05PM (Los Angeles Time)
27 mi (44 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:06PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:06PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.7 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:13PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 3.3 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:24PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.5 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:27PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 04:33PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
May 18, 2024 05:03PM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.6 1 day earlier
May 19, 2024 04:55AM (Los Angeles Time)
28 mi (45 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.8 15 hrs earlier
May 19, 2024 01:59PM (Los Angeles Time)
29 mi (46 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 2.9 4 hrs earlier
May 20, 2024 01:43AM (Los Angeles Time)
29 mi (46 km)
ESE from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.1 May 20, 2024 05:17AM
(Los Angeles Time)
-
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).

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 13th, 2024, when a 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit 61 mi (98 km) further south-east. An even stronger magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck on November 22nd, 2022.

In total, 90 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.1 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 month.

Sources

Last updated 13/06/24 00:38 (). 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 ci40593503
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240520_0000128
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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