Written by on . Last updated December 3rd, 2023.

In the evening of Thursday November 16th, 2023, a shallow Magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit under land 28 kilometer from Kupang in Indonesia. Another country near the epicenter is Timor-Leste.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Indonesia, 28 kilometer (17 mi) north-east of Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 25 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Nov 16, 2023 19:24 (Makassar Time)
- Nov 16, 2023 11:24 Universal Time.
Location: 28 km NE of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Coordinates 10°0'33"S 123°48'1"E.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.6
Detected by 18 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.129 .
Depth: 25 km (16 mi)
A quite shallow depth.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake in a coastal area, it appears to have occurred under land (6 km from the sea) with a magnitude that is usually not strong enough to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

Indonesia and Timor-Leste are both located within 300km distance of the epicenter of the earthquake.

Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia is the nearest significant place from the epicenter. The earthquake occurred 28 kilometer (17 mi) north-east of Kupang.

The table below provides an overview of all places in proximity of today's earthquake.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
28 km (17 mi)
SW from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
55 km (34 mi)
ENE from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
97 km (60 mi)
NE from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
156 km (97 mi)
NE from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
177 km (110 mi)
ENE from epicenter

Cova Lima, Timor-Leste.
192 km (119 mi)
NE from epicenter

Bobonaro, Timor-Leste.
219 km (136 mi)
NE from epicenter

Liquiçá, Timor-Leste.
232 km (144 mi)
NE from epicenter

Liquiçá, Timor-Leste.
233 km (145 mi)
NW from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
240 km (149 mi)
NE from epicenter

Aileu, Timor-Leste.
253 km (157 mi)
NE from epicenter

Díli, Timor-Leste.
268 km (167 mi)
WNW from epicenter

East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

2 Aftershocks detected

After this earthquake struck, 2 smaller aftershocks occurred. A 3 magnitude earthquake hit 24 hrs later 18 km (11 mi) east-southeast of this earthquake.

In the days before this main shock, 1 smaller foreshock was detected. A 2.6 magnitude earthquake hit 2 days earlier nearby.

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Foreshock M 2.6 2 days earlier
Nov 14, 2023 08:36 (Makassar Time)
42 km (26 mi)
NW from Main Shock.
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 4.6 Nov 16, 2023 19:24
(Makassar Time)
Aftershock M 3.0 24 hrs later
Nov 17, 2023 19:00 (Makassar Time)
18 km (11 mi)
ESE from Main Shock.
Aftershock M 2.9 2 days later
Nov 19, 2023 00:29 (Makassar Time)
72 km (45 mi)
NE 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.

In only six percent of cases, significant earthquakes are followed by a larger main shock, making the current earthquake a foreshock. While the chance of this happening is not so large, it is adviced to maintain cautiousness in the hours and days following a major earthquake.

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 November 12th, 2023, when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit 16 km (10 mi) further northwest. An even stronger magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck on November 4th, 2015.

In total, 114 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.6 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 month.

Tsunami very unlikely

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.

While MAG-6.5+ earthquakes may cause tsunami's, it appears that the epicenter of this earthquake hit under land. In addition, the reported depth is deeper than 100km, making the risk of a tsunami even less likely. However always 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 on land near a coastal area (6 km from the sea). Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 4.6. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 25 km (16 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 03/12/23 12:38 (). This article is automatically generated based on available data. We keep checking multiple sources for additional information. This article gets updated as new details on this earthquake become available.

  1. US Geographic Society (USGS): Earthquake us6000lnsh
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231116_0000106
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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