Written by on . Last updated July 18th, 2024.

A shallow and significant Magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck in the Solomon Sea 131 kilometer from Kimbe, Papua New Guinea in the evening of Thursday June 27th, 2024.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the Solomon Sea, 30 kilometers (19 mi) off the coast of Papua New Guinea, 131 kilometer southwest of Kimbe in West New Britain. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 23 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Jun 27, 2024 20:42 (Port Moresby Time)
- Jun 27, 2024 10:42 Universal Time.
Location: 131 km SW of Kimbe, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Coordinates 6°29'19"S 149°25'22"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.2
Detected by 38 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.093 .
Depth: 23 km (14 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

This earthquake may have been felt in Papua New Guinea . Located 131 kilometer (81 mi) southwest 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
131 km (81 mi)
NE from epicenter
Kimbe

West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
269 km (167 mi)
W from epicenter
Lae

Morobe, Papua New Guinea.
285 km (177 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Popondetta

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

Aftershocks detected

This main shock was followed by 1 smaller aftershock. At a distance of 21 km (13 mi) northwest of this earthquake, an aftershock struck 3 hrs later. It measured a magnitude of 4.5

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.2 Jun 27, 2024 20:42
(Port Moresby Time)
-
Aftershock M 4.5 3 hrs later
Jun 27, 2024 23:32 (Port Moresby Time)
21 km (13 mi)
NW 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?

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 21st, 2024, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit 235 km (146 mi) further west. An even stronger magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck on May 5th, 2015.

In total, 140 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 26 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 5.2. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 23 km (14 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 18/07/24 12:48 (). 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 us6000n8ld
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240627_0000120
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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