Strong mag. 5.9 earthquake - 81 km northeast of Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea, on Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 1:19 pm (GMT +10) -

Strong mag. 5.9 earthquake - 81 km northeast of Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea, on Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 1:19 pm (GMT +10)

Strong magnitude 5.9 earthquake at 27 km depth

23 Jan 03:27 UTC: First to report: GFZ after 8 minutes.
23 Jan 03:29: Epicenter location corrected by 3.3 km (2.1 mi) towards N.
23 Jan 07:28: Magnitude recalculated from 5.7 to 5.8. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 10.0 to 27.0 km (from 6.2 to 16.8 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 9 km (5.6 mi) towards N.
23 Jan 07:36: Magnitude recalculated from 5.8 to 5.9.
Update Sat, 23 Jan 2021, 03:33
Significant magnitude 5.7 earthquake 75 km northeast of Lae, Papua New Guinea
5.7 quake 23 Jan 1:19 pm (GMT +10)
5.7 quake 23 Jan 1:19 pm (GMT +10)
An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 occurred only 13 minutes ago 75 km northeast of Lae, Papua New Guinea, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) reported.
The quake hit at a shallow depth of 10 km beneath the epicenter near Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea, around noon on Saturday 23 January 2021 at 1:19 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.
Our monitoring service identified a second report from Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) which listed the quake at magnitude 5.7 as well. A third agency, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), reported the same quake at magnitude 5.7.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake was probably felt by many people in the area of the epicenter. It should not have caused significant damage, other than objects falling from shelves, broken windows, etc.
In Lae (pop. 76,300) located 75 km from the epicenter, the quake should have been felt as light shaking.
Weak shaking might have been felt in Bulolo (pop. 16,000) located 138 km from the epicenter.
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.
Download the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic alerts online:
Android | IOS

Earthquake data:

Date & time: 23 Jan 2021 03:19:51 UTC -
Local time at epicenter: Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 1:19 pm (GMT +10)
Magnitude: 5.9
Depth: 27.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 6.3°S / 147.59°E (Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea)
Nearest volcano: Umboi (94 km / 58 mi)
Nearby towns and cities:
81 km (50 mi) NE of Lae (Morobe) (pop: 76,300) --> See nearby quakes!
145 km (90 mi) NE of Bulolo (Morobe) (pop: 16,000) --> See nearby quakes!
150 km (93 mi) NE of Wau (Morobe) (pop: 14,600) --> See nearby quakes!
233 km (145 mi) ESE of Madang (pop: 27,400) --> See nearby quakes!
245 km (152 mi) E of Goroka (Eastern Highlands) (pop: 18,500) --> See nearby quakes!
283 km (176 mi) NNW of Popondetta (Sohe, Northern Province) (pop: 28,200) --> See nearby quakes!
294 km (183 mi) WSW of Kimbe (Talasea District, West New Britain) (pop: 18,800) --> See nearby quakes!
357 km (222 mi) N of Port Moresby (National Capital) (pop: 283,700) --> See nearby quakes!
375 km (233 mi) E of Mt Hagen (Dei District, Western Highlands) (pop: 33,600) --> See nearby quakes!
435 km (270 mi) E of Mendi (Southern Highlands) (pop: 26,300) --> See nearby quakes!
Weather at epicenter at time of quake:
Broken Clouds 21.8°C (71 F), humidity: 87%, wind: 1 m/s (2 kts) from ENE
Primary data source: GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences)
Estimated released energy: 4.5 x 1013 joules (12.4 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 10676 tons of TNT or 0.7 atomic bombs!) More info
Show interactive Map
[smaller] [bigger]
If you felt this quake (or if you were near the epicenter), please share your experience and submit a short "I felt it" report! Other users would love to hear about it!
Also if you did NOT feel the quake although you were in the area, please report it! Your contribution is valuable also to earthquake science and earthquake hazard analysis and mitigation efforts. You can use your device location or the map to indicate where you were during the earthquake. Thank you!

Data for the same earthquake reported by different agencies

Info: The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
M 5.927 kmEastern New Guinea Reg., P.N.G., Papua New GuineaGFZ
M 5.740 kmEASTERN NEW GUINEA REG., P.N.G., Papua New GuineaEMSC
M 5.868 kmEastern New Guinea Reg., P.N.G., Papua New GuineaBMKG
M 5.729 km36 Km NW of Finschhafen, Papua New GuineaUSGS
M 5.855 kmEastern New Guinea Reg., P.N.G., Papua New GuineaGeoAu

User reports for this quake (2)

User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
146.9 km SW of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 10-15 s
240.8 km W of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / complex rolling (tilting in multiple directions) / 20-30 s (reported through our app)
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android


More info
Recorded aftershocks, latest first (5 quakes):
  • 17 Feb 2021 12:29 UTC
    | M 5.1 |
    115 km (71.5 mi) depth
    34 km (21 mi) distance
    | BMKG | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 05:00 UTC
    | M 5.0 |
    91 km (56.5 mi) depth
    38 km (23 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 03 Feb 2021 16:49 UTC
    | M 5.3 |
    26 km (16.2 mi) depth
    17 km (11 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 23 Jan 2021 16:58 UTC
    | M 5.6 |
    45 km (28 mi) depth
    16 km (10 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 23 Jan 2021 08:34 UTC
    | M 5.4 |
    35 km (21.7 mi) depth
    10 km (6 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details

Earlier earthquakes in the same area since 1900

Map of earlier quakes

Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Why is there advertising on this site?
Support us - Help us upgrade our services!
We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Weather reports
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Design upgrades
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Earthquake archive from 1900 onwards
  • Additional seismic data sources
  • Improved content in English
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most texts and images, in particular photographs, on this website are protected by copyright. Further reproduction and use of without authorization is usually not consented. If you are not sure or need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.