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Mag. 5.0 earthquake - 40 km south of San Jose, Provincia de San José, Costa Rica, on Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023, at 07:44 pm (Costa Rica time) -

A strong magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit 40 km (25 mi) away from San Jose, Provincia de San José,  Costa Rica, in the late afternoon of Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 at 7.44 pm local time (America/Costa Rica GMT -6). The quake had a shallow depth of 64 km (40 mi) and was not felt (or at least not reported so).

Mag. 5.0 earthquake - 40 km south of San Jose, Provincia de San José, Costa Rica, on Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023, at 07:44 pm (Costa Rica time) Mag. 5.0 earthquake - 40 km south of San Jose, Provincia de San José, Costa Rica, on Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023, at 07:44 pm (Costa Rica time)

Moderate magnitude 5.0 earthquake at 64 km depth

Earthquake details

Date & timeMar 22, 2023 01:44:17 UTC -
Local time at epicenterTuesday, Mar 21, 2023, at 07:44 pm (America/Costa Rica GMT -6)
StatusConfirmed (manually revised)
Depth63.9 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude9.5755°N / 84.06°W Provincia de San José, Costa Rica
Also near: Panama 124 km (77 mi) away | Nicaragua 127 km (79 mi) away
Seismic antipode9.5755°S / 95.94°E Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Shaking intensityLight shaking near epicenter
Felt0 reports
Primary data sourceOBSIS (Observatório Sismológico da Universidade de Brasília)
Nearest volcanoIrazu (50 km / 31 mi)
Estimated seismic energy released2 x 1012 joules (554 megawatt hours, equivalent to 477 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 San Jose, the capital of  Costa Rica with 340,000 inhabitants, in 40 km (25 mi) distance north of the epicenter. People likely experienced weak shaking there. Several smaller towns and villages are located closer to the epicenter and might have experienced stronger shaking.
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)
NE of epicenter
San Marcos
(pop: 4,260)
IV: Light
Tarrazu, Provincia de San José
27 km (17 mi)
NW of epicenter
(pop: 22,400)
IV: Light
Acosta, Provincia de San José
32 km (20 mi)
N of epicenter
(pop: 25,900)
III: Weak
Aserri, Provincia de San José
33 km (20 mi)
N of epicenter
San Miguel
(pop: 28,800)
III: Weak
Desamparados, Provincia de San José
38 km (23 mi)
N of epicenter
(pop: 34,600)
III: Weak
Provincia de San José
40 km (25 mi)
N of epicenter
San Jose
(pop: 335,000)
III: Weak
San José, Provincia de San José
43 km (27 mi)
N of epicenter
San Vicente
(pop: 34,400)
III: Weak
Moravia, Provincia de San José
47 km (29 mi)
N of epicenter
San Francisco
(pop: 55,900)
III: Weak
Heredia, Provincia de Heredia
(*) Shaking intensity according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (MMI) and estimated using seismic models.

User-reports for this quake

There are no user reports for this quake yet.

If you felt it, be the first to report it!
User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
There are no user reports for this quake.

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
Epicenter Agency
5.0 64 km
40 mi
01:44:17 Costa Rica OBSIS (Observatório Sismológico da Universidade de Brasília)


Seismic station: Mount Denham, Jamaica (MTDJ/CU network) | Distance from quake: 1192 km / 741 mi | Show on map | Station Info
Seismic station Mount Denham, Jamaica: 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: 0.02-5.0 Hz. Source: IRIS Buffer of Uniform Data (BUD) webtool
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Aftershocks for this quake

So far, only one aftershock has been recorded. It hit 12 days after the mainshock in 3.6 km (2.2 mi) distance. When more 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. 10 km2 (=4 sqare miles) as a first-order estimate. The length of the rupture zone thus was probably around 5 km (3 mi).
[More info]

Recorded aftershocks, latest first (1 quake)

Date and Time GMTMag
Apr 3, 2023 04:34 am (Costa Rica)
47 weeks ago
12 days after main shock

32 km
3.6 km (2.2 mi)
E of main shock
41 km S of San Jose, Provincia de San José, Costa RicaMore
Mar 21, 2023 07:44 pm (Costa Rica)
49 weeks ago

64 km
0 km - This quake40 km S of San Jose, Provincia de San José, Costa Rica
Main Shock (this quake)

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 8,000 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: 0.17 quakes per year (or 1 quake every 6 years)
  • Mag. 5 or higher: 1.72 quakes per year
  • Mag. 4 or higher: 37.5 quakes per year
  • Mag. 3 or higher: 373 quakes per year (or 31 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 2 or higher: 784 quakes per year (or 65 quakes per month)
  • Mag. 1 or higher: 791 quakes per year (or 66 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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