Rare Earthquake Felt in |Daytona Beach, Florida

     (CN) — A rare earthquake surprised residents of Daytona Beach, Florida this weekend, most of whom probably didn’t know the state is prone to a quake once in a very long while.
     According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 3.7 magnitude earthquake occurred at about 8 p.m. Saturday night. It was centered in the Atlantic Ocean, about 100 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach Shores, a community about 15 minutes from the world famous Daytona International Speedway.
     The last widely reported earthquake in Florida occurred in January 2014, when residents across the Lower Florida Keys were shaken by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake off Cuba. Like the residents of Daytona Beach, most residents in the Keys had no idea what was happening. Several reportedly called the local Naval Air Station to inquire about “the exercises” that were shaking their homes.
     Before that the most recent earthquake of note in Florida was in 1948. It was centered off Captiva Island near Fort Myers on the state’s west coast. Prior to that the three next most recent Florida earthquakes were in the 19th century.
     In 1879, residents of St. Augustine, Florida reported items being knocked from shelves and extensive damage to plaster walls; a year later, aftershocks from an earthquake centered near Cuba destroyed several buildings in Key West.
     But the most famous earthquake felt by Floridians was the Charleston, South Carolina earthquake of August 1886. The shaking was felt throughout northern Florida, ringing church bells at St. Augustine and severely jolting other towns along that section of Florida’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Jacksonville residents felt many of the strong aftershocks that occurred in September, October, and November 1886.
     The Charleston quake is the most damaging earthquake to occur in the Southeast United States and one of the largest historic shocks in Eastern North America.
     It damaged or destroyed many buildings in the old city of Charleston and killed 60 people.
     But Florida wasn’t alone in getting a rattling this weekend. The U.S. Geological Survey said minor quakes also shook parts of the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area and Hawaii. The Oregon quake came in at a magnitude 3.2 and mostly effected the Portland suburbs.
     The Hawaiian quake was on the Big Island and was measured at a magnitude 3.0.
     There was also a moderately strong earthquake outside Tokyo on Sunday.
     The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake hit midday Sunday with a magnitude of 5. Its epicenter was 40 kilometers (25 miles) underground in Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo.
     There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, although a nuclear plant in the area briefly suspended operations while its personnel checked for any problems.

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