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

A significant MAG-5.1 earthquake struck in the South Pacific Ocean 300 kilometer from Kokopo, Papua New Guinea in the night of Saturday May 25th, 2024.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the South Pacific Ocean, 142 kilometers (88 mi) off the coast of Papua New Guinea, 300 kilometer north of Kokopo in East New Britain. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 32 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: May 25, 2024 01:51 (Port Moresby Time)
- May 24, 2024 15:51 Universal Time.
Location: 300 km north of Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 1°41'1"S 151°49'18"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.1
Detected by 89 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.06 .
Depth: 32 km (20 mi)
A quite 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

This earthquake may have been felt in Papua New Guinea . Kokopo in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 300 kilometer (186 mi) north of Kokopo.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
300 km (186 mi)
S from epicenter
Kokopo

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

Aftershocks detected

In the days before this main shock, 1 smaller foreshock was detected. A 4.7 magnitude earthquake hit 2 days earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 4.7 2 days earlier
May 23, 2024 07:00 (Port Moresby Time)
13 km (8 mi)
SW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.1 May 25, 2024 01:51
(Port Moresby 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?

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 18th, 2024, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit 243 km (151 mi) further south. An even stronger magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck on May 14th, 2019.

In total, 45 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 3 months.

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 32 km (20 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 12/06/24 18:18 (). 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 us6000n0s9
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240524_0000218
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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