Written by on . Last updated March 3rd, 2024.

Under land 6 kilometer from Cartago in Colombia, a significant MAG-5.6 earthquake occurred in the early morning of Friday January 19th, 2024. The earthquake struck near a very densely populated region. Earthquakes like this can cause significant economic damage and have a significant risk at casualties.

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Earthquake Summary

The earthquake struck on land in Colombia, 6 kilometer (4 mi) east-southeast of Cartago in Valle del Cauca. The center of this earthquake had a quite shallow depth of 59 km. Shallow earthquakes usually have a larger impact than earthquakes deep in the earth.

Date and Time: Jan 19, 2024 06:26AM (Bogota Time)
- Jan 19, 2024 11:26 Universal Time.
Location: 6 km ESE of Cartago, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
Coordinates 4°43'40"N 75°51'44"W.
Map: Map of area around epicenter.
Map of area around epicenter. Click to open in Google Maps.
Magnitude: MAG 5.6
Detected by 43 stations. Maximum Error Range ±0.047 .
Depth: 59 km (37 mi)
A quite shallow depth.
Max. Intensity:
VII
Very Strong

On the Modified Mercalli Scale.
Tsunami Risk: Tsunami very unlikely
While this was a shallow earthquake, it appears to have occurred under land with a magnitude not strong enough to cause tsunami's.
Always stay cautious - More info here.

Significant impact predicted

Based on scientific estimates by the US Geographic Survey (USGS), the risk of high fatalities for this earthquake is classified at level YELLOW (significant). They expect an 35% likelyhood of between 1 and 10 fatalities, and a 90% chance that the number of fatalities falls no higher than 100.

The USGS classifies the economic impact of this earthquake at level YELLOW (significant). They expect an 35% likelyhood of between 10 and 100 million US Dollars in economic damage and impact, and a 94% chance that the economic impact of this earthquake falls no higher than 1,000 million USD.

Roughly 26 million people exposed to shaking

An estimated 26 million have been exposed to shaking (An MMI or Modified Mercalli Intensity level II or higher) as a result of this earthquake according scientific estimates published by the USGS.

Very strong shaking and likely moderate damage may have been experienced by an estimated 38,430 people. At VII, it is the highest MMI level this earthquake has caused. Intensity level III was experienced by the majority of people (around 20 million). In their region, weak shaking and probably no damage can be expected. All exposure to shaking was within the borders of Colombia .

People MMI Level Shaking Damage
0
I
Not noticable None
0
II
Very weak None
19,550,000
III
Weak Probably none
5,158,000
IV
Light Likely none
976,300
V
Moderate Very light
120,000
VI
Strong Light
38,430
VII
Very Strong Moderate
0
VIII
Severe Moderate to heavy
0
IX
Violent Heavy
0
X
Extreme Very heavy

Nearby towns and cities

This earthquake may have been felt in Colombia . Located 6 kilometer (4 mi) east-southeast of the epicenter of this earthquake, Cartago (Valle del Cauca, Colombia) is the nearest significant population center. The intensity of shaking and damage in Cartago is estimated to be around level VII on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale (very strong shaking, likely moderate damage).

Multiple large cities are in proximity of today's earthquake. Bogotá is located 198 km to the east and experienced an intensity of IV (light shaking, likely no damage). Cartago is located 6 km to the west-northwest and experienced an intensity of VII (very strong shaking, likely moderate damage). Pereira is located 21 km to the east-northeast and experienced an intensity of V (moderate shaking, very light damage).

A complete list of nearby places is included below. Estimated intensity data (MMI) sourced from a shake-map published by the US Geographic Survey is shown where available (cities without data probably experienced little impact).

Overview of nearby places

Distance Place Intensity (MMI)
6 km (4 mi)
WNW from epicenter
Cartago

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
VII
Very Strong
16 km (10 mi)
SE from epicenter
Quimbaya

Quindío, Colombia.
V
Moderate
19 km (12 mi)
N from epicenter
La Virginia

Risaralda, Colombia.
V
Moderate
21 km (13 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Pereira

Risaralda, Colombia.
V
Moderate
22 km (14 mi)
SE from epicenter
Montenegro

Quindío, Colombia.
V
Moderate
25 km (16 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Dosquebradas

Risaralda, Colombia.
IV
Light
28 km (17 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Circasia

Quindío, Colombia.
V
Moderate
29 km (18 mi)
SE from epicenter
Armenia

Quindío, Colombia.
V
Moderate
31 km (19 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Santa Rosa de Cabal

Risaralda, Colombia.
IV
Light
32 km (20 mi)
SSE from epicenter
La Tebaida

Quindío, Colombia.
V
Moderate
33 km (21 mi)
SE from epicenter
Calarcá

Quindío, Colombia.
IV
Light
34 km (21 mi)
SW from epicenter
La Unión

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
V
Moderate
37 km (23 mi)
N from epicenter
Viterbo

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
40 km (25 mi)
NE from epicenter
Chinchiná

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
44 km (27 mi)
S from epicenter
Caicedonia

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
44 km (27 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Zarzal

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
48 km (30 mi)
SW from epicenter
Roldanillo

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
52 km (32 mi)
S from epicenter
Sevilla

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
52 km (32 mi)
NE from epicenter
Villamaría

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
53 km (33 mi)
N from epicenter
Belén de Umbría

Risaralda, Colombia.
IV
Light
54 km (34 mi)
NE from epicenter
Manizales

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
59 km (37 mi)
SE from epicenter
Anaime

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
68 km (42 mi)
N from epicenter
Anserma

Risaralda, Colombia.
IV
Light
71 km (44 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Andalucía

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
77 km (48 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Ibagué

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
79 km (49 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Riosucio

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
80 km (50 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Tuluá

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
86 km (53 mi)
NNE from epicenter
Salamina

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
91 km (57 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Líbano

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
92 km (57 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Padua

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
97 km (60 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Payandé

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
98 km (61 mi)
NE from epicenter
Manzanares

Caldas, Colombia.
IV
Light
104 km (65 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Guadalajara de Buga

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
126 km (78 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Espinal

Tolima, Colombia.
IV
Light
126 km (78 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Girardot City

Cundinamarca, Colombia.
IV
Light
139 km (86 mi)
NW from epicenter
Quibdó

Chocó, Colombia.
IV
Light
141 km (88 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Palmira

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
IV
Light
145 km (90 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Yumbo

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
III
Weak
154 km (96 mi)
N from epicenter
Caldas

Antioquia, Colombia.
III
Weak
155 km (96 mi)
ENE from epicenter
La Dorada

Caldas, Colombia.
III
Weak
160 km (99 mi)
SW from epicenter
Buenaventura

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
III
Weak
161 km (100 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Cali

Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
III
Weak
164 km (102 mi)
N from epicenter
Envigado

Antioquia, Colombia.
III
Weak
165 km (103 mi)
N from epicenter
Itagüí

Antioquia, Colombia.
III
Weak
167 km (104 mi)
E from epicenter
Facatativá

Cundinamarca, Colombia.
III
Weak
172 km (107 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Fusagasugá

Cundinamarca, Colombia.
III
Weak
173 km (107 mi)
N from epicenter
Medellín

Antioquia, Colombia.
III
Weak
177 km (110 mi)
SSW from epicenter
Puerto Tejada

Cauca, Colombia.
III
Weak
182 km (113 mi)
N from epicenter
Bello

Antioquia, Colombia.
III
Weak
183 km (114 mi)
E from epicenter
Soacha

Cundinamarca, Colombia.
III
Weak
198 km (123 mi)
E from epicenter
Bogotá

Bogota D.C., Colombia.
IV
Light
198 km (123 mi)
NE from epicenter
Puerto Boyacá

Boyacá, Colombia.
III
Weak
210 km (130 mi)
SSE from epicenter
Neiva

Huila, Colombia.
256 km (159 mi)
ESE from epicenter
Villavicencio

Meta, Colombia.
283 km (176 mi)
ENE from epicenter
Barbosa

Santander, Colombia.
Cities and Towns around the epicenter of this earthquake.

Earthquake Intensity Map

The graph below overlays a map of the region around the epicenter with earthquake intensity data provided by the US Geographic Survey. The highest intensity level detected for this earthquake is VII.

I Not felt
II Weak
III Weak
IV Light
V Moderate
VI Strong
VII Very Strong
VIII Severe
IX Violent
X Extreme
Earthquake Intensity Map based on Shakemap Data provided by USGS.

Shaking reported by 122 people

People that feel an earthquake may report their experience to the US Geographic Survey. Currently, 122 people have reported shaking in 46 places, all within Colombia.We keep updating this article as more ground reports become available. You may report that you felt this earthquake here.

Places with most reports:

  • Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia: 19 people.
  • Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia: 18 people.
  • Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia: 6 people.
  • Armenia, Quindió, Colombia: 6 people.
  • Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia: 5 people.
  • Roldanillo, Valle del Cauca, Colombia: 5 people.
  • Salento, Quindió, Colombia: 4 people.
  • Dos Quebradas, Risaralda, Colombia: 3 people.
  • Ibagué, Tolima, Colombia: 3 people.
  • Envigado, Antioquia, Colombia: 3 people.

Aftershocks detected

Since this main shock, 1 smaller aftershock was detected. At a distance of 24 km (15 mi) northwest of this earthquake, an aftershock struck 21 mins later. It measured a magnitude of 4.3

Overview of foreshocks and aftershocks

Classification Magnitude When Where
Main Shock
This Earthquake
M 5.6 Jan 19, 2024 06:26AM
(Bogota Time)
-
Aftershock M 4.3 21 mins later
Jan 19, 2024 06:47AM (Bogota Time)
24 km (15 mi)
NW 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?

The risk of aftershocks decreases rapidly over time. Usually, aftershocks are at least one order of magnitude lower than a main shock.

The chance that a significant earthquake like this one is followed by an even larger earthquake is not so large. On average, scientists estimate a 94% chance that a major earthquake will not be followed by an even larger one. It is still adviced to be aware of this risk

Read: How to Stay Safe during an Earthquake (cdc.gov).

Earthquakes like this are common in the region

Earthquakes of this strength occur quite regularly in the region. This is the strongest earthquake to hit since August 27th, 2023, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit 114 km (71 mi) further northwest. An even stronger magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck on August 17th, 2023.

In total, 6 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.6 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 2 years.

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 Not this earthquake.
This earthquake appears to have struck on land far from any coast.
Not this earthquake.
This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.6. Earthquakes of this strength are unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
This earthquake occurred at a depth of of 59 km (37 mi). Earthquakes this shallow could trigger a tsunami.

Sources

Last updated 03/03/24 03:38 (). 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 us6000m4n2
  2. European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC): Earthquake 20240119_0000131
  3. Geonames.org: World Cities Database
  4. Google Maps: Static API
  5. Earthquakelist.org: Historic Earthquakes Database

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