CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Authorities are collecting reports from Floridians who felt shaking from a 4.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast, the National Weather Service reported.
The earthquake happened shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
More than 80 reports of shaking were sent to the USGS, but no serious damage or injuries were reported, authorities said.
Earthquakes are relatively rare in Florida and off the Florida coast, experts say.
“It’s a stable region,” said Paul Earle, a seismologist with the USGS. “That being said, as we just learned, it does have earthquakes but much rarer than in other areas.”
Earthquakes have been felt in Florida before. In September 2006, a 5.9 magnitude quake in the Gulf of Mexico was felt in Florida and other states. In parts of Florida, items were knocked from shelves and some Floridians saw waves in their swimming pools during the 2006 quake, according to reports from the USGS. That earthquake was felt all over Florida and even in several other southern states including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and the Carolinas.
In 1879, an earthquake in north Florida — believed to be among the strongest in the state’s history — jolted residents awake and knocked kitchen items off of their shelves, according to an account from the University of Florida.
The USGS sometimes gets reports of earthquakes that are later determined to be sonic booms or military testing, Earle said. Most indicators point to Wednesday’s earthquake as being a natural earthquake, he said.