Rare 4.0 magnitude earthquake recorded off Florida coast

Earthquake felt from St. Augustine to Vero Beach area
Earthquake Tracker Sample
Posted at 10:21 AM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 16:49:49-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A rare 4.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded off Florida's coast Wednesday night.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was recorded about 100 miles off Cape Canaveral at 10:48 p.m.

The earthquake was felt in coastal communities along the Atlantic Ocean from St. Augustine south to the Vero Beach area.

USGS data shows the earthquake occurred about 6 miles beneath the ocean floor.

"Earthquakes in Florida are rare," USGS seismologist Paul Earle told WPTV. "They're not non-existent."

WATCH: USGS Seismologist: 'Earthquakes in Florida are rare ... not non-existent'

Paul Earle, seismologist with USGS, speaks to Kate Wentzel about Florida earthquake

Earle cited the 1879 Florida earthquake that caused some minor damage.

"It's not very typical," Earle said. "Actually, most calls that we get for shaking turn out to be something else like a sonic boom."

Earle said there is a fault that exists, but seismologists don't know much about it.

"We just can't tell with small earthquakes like this," he said.

Earle said California, which has more earthquakes, has an early warning system to "tell people that shaking's coming a few seconds before."

"These are very expensive systems and Florida doesn't have a lot of earthquakes, so it may be a while until something like that is installed in Florida," he said.