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Very strong mag. 6.8 Earthquake - South Pacific Ocean, Azuay, 31 km east of Isla Puna Island, Guayas, Ecuador, on Saturday, Mar 18, 2023, at 12:12 pm (Guayaquil time) -

A very strong magnitude 6.8 earthquake occurred under the sea near the coast of Azuay Department,  Ecuador, around noon of Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 at 12.12 pm local time (America/Guayaquil GMT -5). The quake had a shallow depth of 66 km (41 mi) and was felt over a large region. The shallow depth of the quake caused it to be felt more strongly near the epicenter than a deeper quake of similar magnitude would.

Very strong mag. 6.8 Earthquake - South Pacific Ocean, Azuay, 31 km east of Isla Puna Island, Guayas, Ecuador, on Saturday, Mar 18, 2023, at 12:12 pm (Guayaquil time) Very strong mag. 6.8 Earthquake - South Pacific Ocean, Azuay, 31 km east of Isla Puna Island, Guayas, Ecuador, on Saturday, Mar 18, 2023, at 12:12 pm (Guayaquil time)

Very strong magnitude 6.8 earthquake at 66 km depth

18 Mar 17:17 UTC: First to report: VolcanoDiscovery after 5 minutes.
18 Mar 17:19: Now using data updates from GFZ
... [show all] ...
18 Mar 19:32: Hypocenter depth recalculated from 66.4 to 65.8 km (from 41 to 41 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 2.4 km (1.5 mi) towards ESE.
Update Sat, 18 Mar 2023, 17:39

Significant earthquake of magnitude 6.7 just reported 49 km northeast of Machala, Ecuador

6.7 quake 18 Mar 12:12 pm (GMT -5)
6.7 quake 18 Mar 12:12 pm (GMT -5)
An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 occurred only 26 minutes ago 49 km northeast of Machala, Ecuador, the United States Geological Survey reported.
The quake hit at a moderately shallow depth of 65.7 km beneath the epicenter near Machala, Cantón Machala, Provincia de El Oro, Ecuador, around noon on Saturday, March 18th, 2023, at 12:12 pm local time. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
A second report was later issued by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which listed it as a magnitude 6.7 earthquake as well. Other agencies reporting the same quake include Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) at magnitude 6.6, Geoscience Australia (GeoAu) at magnitude 6.7, The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) at magnitude 6.9, the citizen-seismograph network of RaspberryShake at magnitude 6.7, and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) at magnitude 6.7.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicenter. It might have caused light to moderate damage.
Moderate shaking probably occurred in Balao (pop. 12,200) located 7 km from the epicenter, Naranjal (pop. 32,000) 28 km away, Machala (pop. 198,100) 49 km away, Pasaje (pop. 44,900) 53 km away, Guayaquil (pop. 1,952,000) 73 km away, Duran (pop. 167,800) 75 km away, San Francisco de Milagro (pop. 133,500) 83 km away, Cuenca (pop. 277,000) 89 km away, and Cuenca (pop. 277,000) 89 km away.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available. If you're in the area, please send us your experience through our reporting mechanism, either online or via our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone around the globe who wants to know more about this quake.
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Earthquake details

Date & timeMar 18, 2023 17:12:52 UTC -
Local time at epicenterSaturday, Mar 18, 2023, at 12:12 pm (America/Guayaquil GMT -5)
StatusConfirmed
Magnitude6.8
Depth65.8 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude2.8367°S / 79.8436°W Azuay, Ecuador
Also near: Peru 79 km (49 mi) away
Seismic antipode2.8367°N / 100.1564°E Indonesia
Shaking intensityStrong shaking near epicenter
Felt118 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearest volcanoLicto (180 km / 112 mi)
Weather at epicenter at time of quakeLight Rain 20.7°C (69 F), humidity: 81%, wind: 2 m/s (5 kts) from WNW
Estimated seismic energy released1 x 1015 joules (278 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 2.4 x 105 tons of TNT or 14.9 atomic bombs!) | about seismic energy
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User-reports for this quake (126)

The first report about ground shaking reached us after only 9 minutes, before other agencies reported it. We received 126 reports for this quake.
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
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Cuenca, ec, barrio puertas del sol / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / complex rolling (tilting in multiple directions) / 1-2 minutes : Strongest one in the last three years. Very scary on the 5th floor of building. | 14 users found this interesting.  
Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : It was the longest tremor I've felt here, lasted at least 15 seconds, then kept going for another ten more, not as intense. It was a side-to-side mild shaking, lasted long enough to make me wonder if I should leave the house. | 5 users found this interesting.  
Bahia de Caraquez, Manabi, Ecuador / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 15-20 s : Felt a strong jolt, then about 2 seconds later there was horizontal movement for about 15 seconds. | 6 users found this interesting.  
Loja, Ecuador / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s : Unsteady walking, clock fell from shelf, broke, battery fell out and the clock stopped at 12:13 PM. Roughly 10 seconds of strong, horizontal shaking. | 4 users found this interesting.  
Gualaceo / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / rattling, vibrating / 30-60 s : Heard my app sound an alarm. Grabbed one of my to go bags. Left my phone, didn't know where it was. Opened my door with the key and ran downstairs while the building was shaking. Continued vibrations after. | 4 users found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Cuenca, Edificio Genova, Juan Iniguez y Alfonso Mo / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 30-60 s : I could see the lateral movement of the building (I live on the 4th floor of a 7 floor apartment. I found cracks in the tile in my laundry room and one bathroom. There were vertical cracks in my neighbor's 4th floor apartment running vertically from ceiling to floor. We stood next to a support column until the swaying of the building ceased. Then we used the stairwell to exit the building. There were many building tenants outside.I don't ever want to experience this again. I was terrified. | 3 users found this interesting.  
  • Sorry but you do live in a area prone to Big earthquake s Mexico is next then California USA read books on how to stay safe do not freeze Read safety tips
Costa de Pro, Salinas / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : First earthquake ever. Experienced on 10th floor in ocean front condo. Vertical swaying of building, both seen and felt. Very disorienting. No damage that I could see. | 3 users found this interesting.  
  • Welcome to the club! ????
Sleeping / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / both vertical and horizontal swinging / 15-20 s : Animals ran out, objects were falling off the shelves, chandeliers swinging, more cracks on the walls | 3 users found this interesting.  
Cuenca / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : A loud roar and building started to move back and forth, ceiling lamps swinging about 8 inches building moving, could hear items hitting floor above us. We were on first floor can't imagine movement on 6th floor, lasted about 30 seconds no visible damage. | 2 users found this interesting.  
Cuenca Ecuador / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 15-20 s : Had a statue fall over, otherwise just crooked artwork. Lots of side to side motion, not much up and down. | 2 users found this interesting.  
Quito / Weak shaking (MMI III) / rattling, vibrating / 20-30 s : This quake was not to hard, it was slowly but long in time | 4 users found this interesting.  
Cuenca / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / vertical swinging (up and down) / 30-60 s : Big up and down motion - many cracks in the walls - drawers opened. We are in a new building 2nd floor outside of El Centro. | One user found this interesting.  
Manglaralto / Weak shaking (MMI III) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 2-5 s : I hot an alert that there is an earthquake nearby, and within seconds the shaking started and got stronger before dying down. Hope you guys are ok out there. | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Vilcabamba, Ecuador / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 10-15 s : Initially, an abrupt jolt - as if the house were struck by a strong gust of wind. Then horizontal shaking, followed by another jolt, which then subsided. No aftershocks. | One user found this interesting.  
  • No after shocks YET ! Can have aftershocks for up to one day to a year Read safety tips on Earthquakes
Machala / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / single vertical bump / 10-15 s : El temblor fue similar al de hace 50 años aquí en Machala, inició el movimiento de forma vertical leve pero seguido hasta que nos elevó del piso fuertemente haciendo perder el equilibrio a uno de los 4 q estábamos en casa. Repito fue igual al sismo de hace 50 años  
Crucita EC Manabi / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / rattling, vibrating / several minutes : Alert on phone, extreme shaking, animal ran to stand by me, glass rattling, hanging lights swinging, pool water movement  
Quito Ecuador / Weak shaking (MMI III) : My daughter felt the hotel bed shaking . They just arrived (from the Netherlands s) in quito on thursday for their spanish lessons starting monday. They googled and found it there was an earthquake  
salinas ecuador / Weak shaking (MMI III) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : was in the paso nalls food court sitting down mt 1st 1 ever 66 yrs old the floor swayed back and forth and the big lights on the cieling swayed for several mins i dont think anyone else noticed but i did and 20 of the big cieling lights did  
Guasmo Sur, Guayaquil, Ecuador / Very strong shaking (MMI VII) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 30-60 s : Un fuerte temblor inicial de unos 2 segundos, y casi al instante nuevo temblor, balanceo, piso inestable, todo se movía, se agrietaron pareces en algunos sitios y cayeron planchas del techo. Este último fue como 5-10 segundos y luego la tierra quedó balanceándose horizontalmente por más de 1 minuto.  
Salinas, Ecuador / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : Felt on the 8th floor of a building near the coast. Prolonged swaying of the building, felt like 30 seconds.  
Sacapo near Vilcabamba Ecaudor / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : Started as a rumble with some lateral motion; faded away momentarily; sudden jolt followed by longer and greater lateral motion.  
Cuenca / Very strong shaking (MMI VII) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 30-60 s : It shook this city immensely. | One user found this interesting.  
15 th floor of edifio Palarmo in cuenca. Ordonez L / Weak shaking (MMI III) / vibration and rolling / 20-30 s : Moderate shaking, hard to walk | One user found this interesting.  
Loja, Ecuador / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s : Unsteady walking, videos fell from shelf. Roughly 10 seconds. Horizontal shaking. Strong shaking. | One user found this interesting.  
Vilcabamba / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : Building swaying hard to walk..naseau reports | One user found this interesting.  
Riobamba / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s : The orchestra was practicing in the theatre. We all ran out afraid the ceiling could colapse. | One user found this interesting. (reported through our app)  
Quito / Weak shaking (MMI III) / rattling, vibrating / 20-30 s : This quake was not to hard, it was slowly but long in time | One user found this interesting.  
Guayas / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 30-60 s : Estaba en la mesa y se comenzó a vibrar todo duro! | One user found this interesting.  
Guayaquil / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / 30-60 s
Almuerzo / Strong shaking (MMI VI)
Loja, Ecuador / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 20-30 s
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Earthquake statistics

Average number of earthquakes

Based on data from the past 10 years and our earthquake archive back to 1900, there are about 425 quakes on average per year in the area near the epicenter of this quake (within 100 km/61 mi):
  • Mag. 6 or higher: 0.03 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 31.3 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 1.71 quakes per year
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 14.9 quakes per year
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 41 quakes per year
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 42 quakes per year
The area where this quake occurred has a high level of seismic activity. It has had at least 4 quakes above magnitude 6 since 1900, which suggests that larger earthquakes of this size occur infrequently, probably on average approximately every 30 to 35 years.

Number of quakes per year