ShakeMap (Calculated intensity of this Philippines earthquake):

Mindanao earthquake on August 15th
View ShakeMap, Epicenter, and historical seismicity on the interactive map

What happened:

A strong earthquake hit the southern Philippines on Monday. The epicenter was located in the southern part of Mindanao, 50 kilometers southwest of Davao City. According to the Philippine volcanology and seismology department (Phivolcs), the quake reached a magnitude of 5.5. It was felt firmly near the epicenter and with lower intensity in many parts of Mindanao. Minor damage is likely. The same area was hit by a devastating earthquake sequence in autumn 2019 that destroyed thousands of houses and killed 50 people.

Current earthquake activity in the Philippines:

In the past 30 days, 32 earthquakes of magnitude 3.3 or higher were detected in Mindanao, Philippines (see map section). Therefore, the earthquake activity of the past month has been significantly lower relative to long-term trends (more than 20% deviation).


Since 1960, 653 earthquakes larger than Magnitude 5.5 have been detected in this region. This makes an average of 10.9 earthquakes larger than M5.5 per year in the Philippines. Therefore, the general earthquake activity is usually very high, and quakes of this size have an average recurrence time of approx. 1.1 months (33 days).

Most giant earthquakes in this map section* (the Philippines and nearby)

Date Magnitude Depth (km)
1972-12-2 8.0 60
1976-8-16 7.9 33
1972-6-11 7.7 331
1969-1-30 7.6 60
1989-12-15 7.6 24
2010-7-23 7.6 578
2001-1-1 7.5 33
1984-11-20 7.5 202
2002-3-5 7.5 31
2010-7-23 7.5 641

*Data: USGS (Magnitude 5 +, since 1960)

What to do in case of an earthquake?

1. No panic.

2. If you are inside a building: Seek shelter under sturdy furniture (e.g., a dining table). Be aware of falling objects. Do not flee the building! Falling roof tiles, bricks, and glass can harm you. After the shaking stops: Turn off the electronic devices. Check gas pipes for leaks. Check for structural damage. Leave your house if you are uncertain. In case of damage: Do not enter the building before a professional safety check! Dangerous aftershocks might follow. Help your neighbors if necessary. If outdoors: Keep away from facilities, try to find open space, crouch down, and cover your head with your arms. Do not run on the streets before checking for cars. Always watch your environment.

3. If you are near the coast: In case of solid or long-lasting shaking, evacuate to higher grounds immediately! A tsunami might be possible. Do not wait for official warnings. In areas of a high tsunami threat, follow the evacuation route signs but be aware of likely damaged buildings and landslides on your route. Once reaching a higher / save point, listen to official instructions and warnings.

4. If you are in the mountains or near a steep slope: Watch for rockfalls, landslides, and avalanches. Get away from slopes immediately and protect your head with your arms.

5. Try to help people in need. Take special care of older adults and children. After the earthquake stops, confirm that your neighbors, friends, and family are safe. Help them, if necessary but do not get into a dangerous situation. Call and wait for professional rescue teams.