Monday, July 18, 2016

A Florida Earthquake?

Many have asked me about the validity of a report saying Florida felt an earthquake this weekend.
Well, felt may be a stretch, but it is true, a weak tremor was registered offshore.

On Saturday July 16th, a small underwater quake was registered about 100 miles just off Florida's East Coast.

Late Monday night, the United States Geological Service (USGS), which tracks earthquakes, says the tremor was a NAVY test. They confirmed it on their site only saying it was experimental. That was it. You can check their official site:

It still leaves many questions, the least of which, is it safe to go boating through the area?  Fortunately, the tremor caused by the explosion was too weak to be felt on land.

Over the last 200 years there have been a handful of tremors that shook the Sunshine State. Not a lot compared to other areas of the world, but that is a mere blink in geological time.

Here's a quick look at Florida's quake history:
(Courtesy of USGS)
  • A shock occurred near St. Augustine, in the northeast part of the State, in January 1879.The Nation's oldest permanent settlement, founded by Spain in 1565, reported that heavy shaking knocked plaster from walls and articles from shelves. Similar effects were noted at Daytona Beach, Tampa, and as far north as Savannah, Georgia.
  • In January 1880, Cuba was the center of two strong earthquakes that sent severe shock waves through the town of Key West, Florida.
  • On June 20, 1893, Jacksonville experienced another slight shock, apparently local, that lasted about 10 seconds. 
  • Another minor earthquake shook Jacksonville at 11:15 a.m., October 31, 1900. It caused no damage.
  • A sudden jar caused doors and windows to rattle at Captiva in November 1948.
  • On November 18, 1952, a slight tremor was felt by many at Quincy, a small town about 20 miles northwest of Tallahassee.
  • Three Florida shocks of doubtful seismic origin rumbled through the Everglades - La Belle - Fort Myers area in July 1930, Tampa in December 1940, and the Miami - Everglades - Fort Myers area in January 1942. Most authorities attribute these incidents to blasting, but a few contend they were seismic. 

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