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

In the North Pacific Ocean 128 kilometer from Tumaco, Colombia, a shallow MAG-4.5 earthquake occurred in the evening of Saturday November 18th, 2023. Ecuador is also near its epicenter.

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Earthquake Summary

This earthquake hit under water in the North Pacific Ocean, 117 kilometers (73 mi) off the coast of Colombia, 128 kilometer northwest of Tumaco in Nariño. The center of this earthquake had a very shallow depth of 10 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Nov 18, 2023 06:32PM (Bogota Time)
- Nov 18, 2023 23:32 Universal Time.
Location: 173 km north of Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
Coordinates 2°30'60"N 79°41'29"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 4.5
Detected by 24 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.063 .
Depth: 10 km (6 mi)
A very shallow depth.
Tsunami Risk: Low tsunami risk
Earthquakes under MAG-6.5 do not usually cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake struck within proximity of multiple countries. Colombia and Ecuador are both within 300km distance of its epicenter.

Located 128 kilometer (80 mi) northwest of the epicenter of this earthquake, Tumaco (Nariño, Colombia) is the nearest significant population center.

A complete list of nearby places is included below.

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place
128 km (80 mi)
SE from epicenter

Nariño, Colombia.
167 km (104 mi)
SE from epicenter
San Lorenzo de Esmeraldas

Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
173 km (107 mi)
S from epicenter

Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
176 km (109 mi)
E from epicenter
El Charco

Nariño, Colombia.
245 km (152 mi)
S from epicenter
Rosa Zarate

Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
280 km (174 mi)
SE from epicenter

Nariño, Colombia.
290 km (180 mi)
SE from epicenter

Carchi, Ecuador.
293 km (182 mi)
SE from epicenter

Imbabura, Ecuador.
296 km (184 mi)
SE from epicenter

Nariño, Colombia.
297 km (185 mi)
SE from epicenter

Imbabura, Ecuador.
297 km (185 mi)
E from epicenter

Cauca, Colombia.
299 km (186 mi)
SSE from epicenter

Imbabura, Ecuador.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Risk of aftershocks?

We monitor for foreshocks or aftershocks that have a magnitude of 2.5+ and occur within 100km (62 mi) of the epicenter of this earthquake. So far no such earthquakes have been detected.

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.

It's always adviced to be cautious of the risk of a larger shock following any significant earthquake, however this risk is fairly small. There is a roughly 94 percent change that no larger main shock will follow in the days following this 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 October 5th, 2023, when a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit 283 km (176 mi) further south-east. An even stronger magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on April 16th, 2016.

In total, 131 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 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 28 days.

Low tsunami risk

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.

Based on early data it appears this earthquake was not strong enough (lower than MAG-6.5) to be likely to cause destructive tsunami's. However this earthquake appeared to have hit at a shallow depth under sea, so 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 under the sea. Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 4.5. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 10 km (6 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.


Last updated 03/12/23 01:08 (). 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 us6000lpdj
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20231118_0000209
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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