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realclearworld

5.1 earthquake in Florida Straits rattles Cuba and South Florida

It would appear the gates of hell are opening to swallow up its newest resident. Let us hope that is the case...

Via The Miami Herald:

Florida Keys and Cuba rattled by a rare quake

http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2014/01/09/17/09/11XevR.St.56.jpgEven seasoned scientists were surprised by a rare 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Thursday afternoon off the northern coast of Cuba, rattling residents on both sides of the Florida Straits.

“There is no question that it is unusual where it hit,” said Timothy Dixon, a University of South Florida geophysics professor and earthquake expert. “I have no clue why this earthquake happened.”

Dixon said the earthquake — centered about 112 miles east of Havana in coastal waters — happened about 300 miles from a major fault line between southern Cuba and Hispaniola.

“Scientists are definitely going to be looking at this one,” he said. “Earthquakes happen periodically in Cuba, but in the south.”

The earthquake, which occurred at 3:58 p.m., was not strong enough to cause serious damage, but people reported feeling its effects across the Florida Keys and as far north as Cape Coral on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“Unbelievable,” said Shelia Cullen, assistant retail manager at the Custom House Museum in Key West. “It scared the crap out of everyone on the third floor. We have stuff everywhere up here, and a huge decorative vase was rocking back and forth.”

Thursday’s earthquake was the sixth known earthquake between 3.0 and 5.6 magnitude recorded within 125 miles of the area in the past 75 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter was about 24 miles north of Corralillo, Cuba, in an area that the USGS said is generally “quiet seismically” but also close to several minor faults, collectively called the Nortecubana Fault system.

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