Recent earthquake rare, but not unheard of, in Florida

An earthquake in Miami? We lived a historic and unique day. Recent earthquake rare, but not unheard of, in Florida.

Versión en español

Having a hurricane in Miami is an experience that can happen every year during the cyclonic season. But there is no season for earthquakes in this city of the sun. No one could imagine it can shake.

On January 28, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, centered just south of Cuba, shook the Miami area unlike any way its been struck.

“I didn't understand what was happening. It was a strange feeling, the docks were moving,” said Glenn Larsonn, who works in the marine facility at Virginia Key.

In Brickel, some buildings were evacuated when they began to shake. “They asked us to go outside. No one knew if aftershocks could arrive. No one understood what was happening. Who could imagine an earthquake in Miami?” said Ismael Jimenez, who works in a mortgage company in the area.

Florida is not near any tectonic plate and only rarely experiences tremors.

In 2006, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake centered about 260 miles southwest of Tampa and west of Fort Myers in the Gulf of Mexico sent shockwaves through the southwest and central Florida. The earthquake was too small to cause a tsunami and no damage was reported. Minor jolts were felt in southwest Florida and some buildings in the city of Cape Coral reported that they swayed.

In January 1879, there was an earthquake near St. Augustine. That one was felt as far south as Tampa and as far north as Savannah, GA.

In January 1880, Cuba was the center of two strong earthquakes that sent shock waves to the city of Key West.

Another earthquake, which occurred in September 1886 in Charleston, was felt throughout northern Florida, ringing the bells of the churches in St. Augustine and shaking other cities in the area. Jacksonville residents felt many of the strong aftershocks too.