4.0 Magnitude Earthquake Reported Off Florida's Space Coast Ahead of Rocket Launch: ‘Pretty Rare’

The most recent quake reported in Florida reportedly occurred just south of its state line with Alabama on Sept. 3, 2020

<p>USGS</p> Location of the earthquake that shook portions of Florida late Wednesday night


Location of the earthquake that shook portions of Florida late Wednesday night

A rare earthquake shook Florida's Space Coast late Wednesday night — and experts are among those caught by surprise.

The 4.0-magnitude quake originated 163 kilometers (about 101 miles) east of Cape Canaveral just after 10:45 p.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake was felt in various towns and cities in the Sunshine State, with reports coming in from St. Augustine, Port Orange, Palm Coast, Edgewater, Winter Springs, Lake Mary, Deland and more.

“That's pretty rare that that happens around here,” said Jessica Dobson, a meteorologist with FOX affiliate WOFL, “because there's no major fault lines nearby.”

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Amanda Holly, a meteorologist for NBC affiliate WFLA-TV, said the closest fault line can be found just north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and south of Cuba.

Wednesday’s earthquake hit hours before a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as part of NASA's PACE mission, according to CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.

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Some people confused the quake with the launch, Florida Today reported.

Though Wednesday’s earthquake was located off Florida’s east coast, most earthquakes that impact the state occur near the Panhandle, according to the USGS.

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The USGS said the most recent quake reported in Florida took place just south of the Florida-Alabama border on Sept. 3, 2020, per WOFL. It was ranked 1.8 in magnitude on the Richter scale.

The largest earthquake in Florida history was a 4.4-magnitude quake recorded on Jan. 12, 1879, according to the University of Florida.

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