Written by on . Last updated June 12th, 2024.

In the late afternoon of Wednesday May 22nd, 2024, a shallow and significant Magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit in the Philippine Sea 27 kilometer from Hualien City, Taiwan. Another country near the epicenter is Japan.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Philippine Sea, 22 kilometers (14 mi) off the coast of Taiwan, 27 kilometer south-east of Hualien City in Hualien County. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 10 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: May 22, 2024 16:00 (Taipei Time)
- May 22, 2024 08:00 Universal Time.
Location: 27 km SE of Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan.
Coordinates 23°46'53"N 121°45'57"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 15 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.08 .
Depth: 10 km (6 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

Taiwan and Japan are both located within 300km distance of the epicenter of the earthquake.

The closest significant population center near the earthquake is Hualien City in Hualien County, Taiwan. Hualien City is located 27 kilometer (17 mi) south-east of the epicenter.

Multiple large cities are in proximity of today's earthquake. Taipei is located 143 km to the north. Hualien City is located 27 km to the northwest. Taichung is located 117 km to the west-northwest.

The table below provides an overview of all places in proximity of today's earthquake.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
27 km (17 mi)
NW from epicenter
Hualien City

Hualien County, Taiwan.
84 km (52 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Puli

Nantou County, Taiwan.
103 km (64 mi)
W from epicenter
Lugu

Nantou County, Taiwan.
109 km (68 mi)
N from epicenter
Yilan

Yilan County, Taiwan.
112 km (70 mi)
W from epicenter
Zhongxing New Village

Nantou County, Taiwan.
113 km (70 mi)
W from epicenter
Nantou

Nantou County, Taiwan.
117 km (73 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Taichung

Taichung City, Taiwan.
123 km (76 mi)
W from epicenter
Yuanlin

Changhua County, Taiwan.
125 km (78 mi)
W from epicenter
Douliu

Yunlin County, Taiwan.
132 km (82 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Daxi

Taoyuan City , Taiwan.
139 km (86 mi)
NW from epicenter
Hsinchu

Hsinchu County, Taiwan.
140 km (87 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Banqiao

New Taipei City, Taiwan.
143 km (89 mi)
NNW from epicenter
Taoyuan City

Taoyuan City , Taiwan.
143 km (89 mi)
N from epicenter
Taipei

Taipei City, Taiwan.
150 km (93 mi)
N from epicenter
Keelung

Keelung, Taiwan.
152 km (94 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Yujing

Tainan City, Taiwan.
181 km (112 mi)
WSW from epicenter
Tainan

Tainan City, Taiwan.
197 km (122 mi)
SW from epicenter
Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
199 km (124 mi)
SW from epicenter
Donggang

Pingtung County, Taiwan.
223 km (139 mi)
W from epicenter
Magong

Penghu County , Taiwan.
224 km (139 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Hengchun

Pingtung County, Taiwan.
251 km (156 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Ishigaki

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

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 Taiwan.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Taichung, Taichung Shih, Taiwan: 1 person.

Aftershocks detected

This main shock was followed by 1 smaller aftershock. At a distance of 2.8 km (1.7 mi) south-southwest of this earthquake, an aftershock struck 11 hrs later. It measured a magnitude of 3.9

In the days before this main shock, 8 smaller foreshocks were detected. Nearby this earthquake a foreshock struck 34 sec earlier. It measured a magnitude of 4.4

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.3 5 days earlier
May 19, 2024 21:52 (Taipei Time)
16 km (10 mi)
SSE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.4 4 days earlier
May 20, 2024 15:56 (Taipei Time)
73 km (45 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.4 4 days earlier
May 20, 2024 17:20 (Taipei Time)
15 km (9 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.4 3 days earlier
May 22, 2024 11:09 (Taipei Time)
92 km (57 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.2 1 day earlier
May 23, 2024 21:59 (Taipei Time)
54 km (34 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.0 22 hrs earlier
May 24, 2024 03:29 (Taipei Time)
25 km (15 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.2 14 hrs earlier
May 24, 2024 11:10 (Taipei Time)
37 km (23 mi)
ENE from Main Shock.
Foreshock M 4.4 34 sec earlier
May 25, 2024 01:06 (Taipei Time)
4 km (2.5 mi)
S from Main Shock.
Main Shock M 4.6 May 25, 2024 01:07
(Taipei Time)
-
Aftershock M 3.9 11 hrs later
May 25, 2024 11:48 (Taipei Time)
2.8 km (1.7 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?

Aftershocks are usually at least 1 order of magnitude less strong than main shocks. The more time passes, the smaller the chance and likely strength of any potential aftershocks.

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 May 10th, 2024, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit 47 km (29 mi) further north-northeast. An even stronger magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck on April 2nd, 2024.

In total, 137 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.1 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 27 days.

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 5.1. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 10 km (6 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 12/06/24 10:38 (). 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 us6000n082
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240522_0000070
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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