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Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Philippine Sea, 27 km southeast of Biliran Island, Philippines, on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, at 08:28 pm (Manila time) -

A strong magnitude 4.8 earthquake occurred under the sea near the coast of Eastern Visayas,  Philippines, in the evening of Sunday, Jan 15, 2023 at 8.28 pm local time (Asia/Manila GMT +8). The quake had a very shallow depth of 10 km (6 mi) and was reported felt by some people near the epicenter.

Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Philippine Sea, 27 km southeast of Biliran Island, Philippines, on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, at 08:28 pm (Manila time) Mag. 4.8 earthquake - Philippine Sea, 27 km southeast of Biliran Island, Philippines, on Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, at 08:28 pm (Manila time)

Moderate magnitude 4.8 earthquake at 10 km depth

15 Jan 12:45 UTC: First to report: PHIVOLCS after 17 minutes.
15 Jan 12:53: Now using data updates from USGS
Update Sun, 15 Jan 2023, 12:51

Significant earthquake of magnitude 5.1 just reported 39 km northwest of Ormoc, Philippines

5.1 quake 15 Jan 8:28 pm (GMT +8)
5.1 quake 15 Jan 8:28 pm (GMT +8)
An earthquake of magnitude 5.1 occurred only 23 minutes ago 39 km northwest of Ormoc, Philippines, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported.
The quake hit at a very shallow depth of 1 km beneath the epicenter near Ormoc, Leyte, Eastern Visayas, Philippines, in the evening on Sunday, January 15th, 2023, at 8:28 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 citizen-seismograph network of RaspberryShake, which listed it as a magnitude 4.8 earthquake. Other agencies reporting the same quake include the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) at magnitude 4.9, and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) at magnitude 4.8.
Generally quakes of this magnitude are recorded by more than one agency and the results can vary, with subsequent reports that come in after the first one often showing more accuracy.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been felt by everybody in the area of the epicenter. In those areas, dangerous ground shaking occurred with the potential to inflict moderate to heavy damage to buildings and other infrastructure.
Towns or cities where the quake likely caused strong ground shaking include
In Carigara (pop. 17,500) located 20 km from the epicenter, and Ormoc (pop. 191,200) 39 km away, the quake should have been felt as light shaking.
Weak shaking might have been felt in Tacloban City (pop. 242,100) located 56 km from the epicenter, Panalanoy (pop. 189,100) 56 km away, Palo (pop. 17,500) 57 km away, Catbalogan (pop. 68,100) 64 km away, and Calbayog City (pop. 67,900) 82 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 & timeJan 15, 2023 12:28:15 UTC -
Local time at epicenterSunday, Jan 15, 2023, at 08:28 pm (Asia/Manila GMT +8)
StatusConfirmed
Magnitude4.8
Depth10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude11.4334°N / 124.6663°E Biliran, Eastern Visayas, Philippines
Seismic antipode11.4334°S / 55.334°W Brazil
Shaking intensityModerate shaking near epicenter
Felt5 reports
Primary data sourceUSGS (United States Geological Survey)
Nearest volcanoBiliran (17 km / 11 mi)
Weather at epicenter at time of quakeBroken Clouds 25.2°C (77 F), humidity: 90%, wind: 1 m/s (3 kts) from E
Estimated seismic energy released1 x 1012 joules (278 megawatt hours, equivalent to 239 tons of TNT) | about seismic energy
Interactive map
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Nearby places

The closest larger town where the quake might have been felt is Tacloban City, a city with more than 240,000 inhabitants in the Philippines, in 43 km (26 mi) distance southeast of the epicenter. People likely experienced light shaking there. Many smaller towns and villages are located closer to the epicenter and might have experienced stronger shaking. In the capital of the  Philippines, Manila, 533 km (331 mi) away from the epicenter, the earthquake could not be felt.
The following table shows some of the places that might have been affected (or not) by the shaking.
Distance Place Max. shaking intensity(*) Region Country
10 km (6 mi)
NW of epicenter
Bunga
(pop: 3,780)
V: Moderate
Biliran, Eastern Visayas
15 km (9 mi)
S of epicenter
Carigara
(pop: 17,500)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
17 km (10 mi)
SW of epicenter
Pinamopoan
(pop: 2,770)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
20 km (12 mi)
E of epicenter
Babatngon
(pop: 6,240)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
21 km (13 mi)
W of epicenter
Biliran
(pop: 4,700)
IV: Light
Eastern Visayas
21 km (13 mi)
W of epicenter
Leyte
(pop: 7,220)
IV: Light
Eastern Visayas
26 km (16 mi)
SE of epicenter
San Miguel
(pop: 3,400)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
28 km (18 mi)
NW of epicenter
Culaba
(pop: 6,230)
IV: Light
30 km (19 mi)
S of epicenter
Kananga
(pop: 7,650)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
30 km (19 mi)
E of epicenter
Santa Rita
(pop: 4,340)
IV: Light
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
31 km (19 mi)
SE of epicenter
Jaro
(pop: 7,940)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
32 km (20 mi)
NE of epicenter
Villareal
(pop: 3,770)
IV: Light
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
32 km (20 mi)
SW of epicenter
Kampokpok
(pop: 5,690)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
33 km (20 mi)
NW of epicenter
Naval
(pop: 12,200)
IV: Light
Biliran, Eastern Visayas
34 km (21 mi)
W of epicenter
San Isidro
(pop: 4,870)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
42 km (26 mi)
SE of epicenter
Panalanoy
(pop: 189,100)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
43 km (26 mi)
SE of epicenter
Tacloban City
(pop: 242,100)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
45 km (28 mi)
NE of epicenter
Catbalogan
(pop: 68,100)
IV: Light
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
47 km (29 mi)
SE of epicenter
Palo
(pop: 17,500)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
48 km (30 mi)
S of epicenter
Ormoc
(pop: 191,200)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
52 km (33 mi)
SE of epicenter
Tanauan
(pop: 16,600)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
53 km (33 mi)
SW of epicenter
Palompon
(pop: 12,100)
IV: Light
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
54 km (33 mi)
NE of epicenter
Wright
(pop: 4,700)
III: Weak
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
57 km (35 mi)
SE of epicenter
Burauen
(pop: 14,300)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
60 km (37 mi)
N of epicenter
Pagsanjan
(pop: 8,020)
III: Weak
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
60 km (37 mi)
S of epicenter
Merida
(pop: 3,570)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
61 km (38 mi)
S of epicenter
Balogo
(pop: 6,700)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
62 km (38 mi)
SW of epicenter
Isabel
(pop: 8,600)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
67 km (41 mi)
SE of epicenter
Dulag
(pop: 10,200)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
68 km (42 mi)
SE of epicenter
La Paz
(pop: 4,150)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
71 km (44 mi)
N of epicenter
Calbayog City
(pop: 67,900)
III: Weak
Province of Samar, Eastern Visayas
74 km (46 mi)
W of epicenter
Daanbantayan
(pop: 13,400)
III: Weak
Province of Cebu, Central Visayas
84 km (52 mi)
SW of epicenter
Bogo
(pop: 23,600)
III: Weak
Province of Cebu, Central Visayas
85 km (53 mi)
SE of epicenter
Abuyog
(pop: 15,600)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
85 km (53 mi)
S of epicenter
Baybay
(pop: 17,700)
III: Weak
Province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas
86 km (53 mi)
E of epicenter
Borongan City
(pop: 16,500)
III: Weak
Eastern Samar, Eastern Visayas
96 km (60 mi)
E of epicenter
Llorente
(pop: 7,910)
III: Weak
Eastern Samar, Eastern Visayas
119 km (74 mi)
N of epicenter
Catarman
(pop: 47,400)
III: Weak
Northern Samar, Eastern Visayas
150 km (93 mi)
SW of epicenter
Cebu City
(pop: 798,600)
III: Weak
Province of Cebu, Central Visayas
533 km (331 mi)
NW of epicenter
Manila
(pop: 1,600,000)
I: Not felt
Capital District, National Capital Region
Notes:
(*) Shaking intensity according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) and estimated using seismic models.

User-reports for this quake (6)

We received 6 reports for this quake.
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
Contribute:
Leave a comment if you find a particular report interesting or want to add to it.
Flag as inappropriate.
Mark as helpful or interesting.
Send your own user report!
Translate
Leyte, Leyte Philippines / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / complex motion difficult to describe : Felt like 2 quakes. Second one very strong shaking. Large items fell off shelves, including the TV. Power is out now. | One user found this interesting.  
Macopa leyte leyte / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 15-20 s : While driving the car swerved. Still shaking when we stopped. | One user found this interesting.  
Tacloban city / Very weak shaking (MMI II) / 10-15 s
In Indonesia / not felt : Dhehxi2j  
Leyte / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / complex rolling (tilting in multiple directions) / 2-5 s : Moderate shaking  
Tabango / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 30-60 s : Lasted pretty long and rattled things on the wall. Didn't knock over anything  

What is Intensity and the Mercalli Intensity Scale?


The amount of shaking that occurs on the surface due to an earthquake is called the intensity. It is commonly measured on the so-called Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) ranging from 1 (not felt) to 10 (extreme shaking), and given in Roman numerals as I,II,...IX, X, and often displayed with color codes ranging from light blue to dark red.
Earthquake intensity depends mainly on the magnitude and depth of the quake as well as the distance from the epicenter: The further away, the less shaking intensity occurs.
Read more about the MMI scale!

Compare Quake Data

Data for the same earthquake as reported by different agencies

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.
Mag Depth Time GMT
2023-01-15
Epicenter Agency
4.8 10 km
6.2 mi
(*)
12:28:15 Philippines: 003 Km S 19° E of Leyte (Leyte) USGS (United States Geological Survey)
4.8 10 km
6.2 mi
(*)
12:28:15 Leyte, Philippines
27 km (17 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences)
4.8 10 km
6.2 mi
(*)
12:28:18 LEYTE, PHILIPPINES
20 km (12 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre)
4.8 10 km
6.2 mi
(*)
12:28:15 Leyte, Philippines
0 km (0 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
RaspberryShake (RaspberryShake)
5.3 1 km
0.6 mi
12:28:00 Leyte, Philippines
17 km (10.7 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology)
4.8 10 km
6.2 mi
(*)
12:28:15 Leyte, Philippines
0 km (0 mi) epicenter difference with USGS
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology)
Notes:
(*) A depth given as 10 km often means that the the depth of the quake could not determined with sufficient accuracy.

Seismograms

Seismic station: Davao, Philippines (DAV/IU network) | Distance from quake: 495 km / 308 mi | Show on map | Station Info
Seismic station Davao, Philippines: vertical movement plot around time of quake (source: IRIS/BUD)
Seismogram (vertical component) around time of quake. Thin dotted red line indicates time of quake. Seismic waves arrive some time later, depending on distance. Bandpass filter applied: 0.2-10.0 Hz. Source: IRIS Buffer of Uniform Data (BUD) webtool
Show more

Aftershocks for this quake

No aftershocks have been recorded so far. When aftershocks are detected, we will update this section.

What are aftershocks?


Larger earthquakes (above magnitude 5 or so) such as this one are usually followed by smaller ones known as aftershocks that occur in the same area during the days, weeks, months or even years after the main shock.
[More info]

What about this quake?


Based on its magnitude, the fault that was active during the quake likely ruptured beneath a surface of approx. 6 km2 (=2 sqare miles) as a first-order estimate. The length of the rupture zone thus was probably around 4 km (3 mi).
[More info]


Recorded aftershocks, latest first (0 quake)

Date and Time GMTMag
Depth
DistanceRegionDetails
Jan 15, 2023 08:28 pm (Manila)
1 year 7 weeks ago - felt
4.8

10 km
0 km - This quakePhilippine Sea, 27 km SE of Biliran Island, Philippines
Main Shock (this quake)
More

Map of aftershocks

Earthquake statistics

Average number of earthquakes

Based on data from the past 10 years and our earthquake archive back to 1900, there are about 2,600 quakes on average per year in the area near the epicenter of this quake (within 100 km/61 mi):
  • Mag. 7 or higher: 0.02 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 62.5 years)
  • Mag. 6 or higher: 0.1 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 10.3 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 1.23 quakes per year
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 7.6 quakes per year
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 64 quakes per year
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 228 quakes per year (or 19 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 1 or higher: 255 quakes per year (or 21.3 quakes per month)
The area where this quake occurred has a very high level of seismic activity. It has had at least 2 quakes above magnitude 7 since 1900, which suggests that larger earthquakes of this size occur infrequently, probably on average approximately every 60 to 65 years.

Number of quakes per year

Previous quakes in the same area of this earthquake

Map of earlier quakes in the area of this quake

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Map to embed or share

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