In this unrelated file video that aired Monday, Melissa Marino interviews members of the Turkish community about the deadly earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As earthquakes continue to devastate communities across the globe, including the United States, it’s important to know how likely this natural disaster could occur in your area.
On Monday morning, a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck near Buffalo, N.Y. According to NBC News, it was the strongest recorded earthquake in the area in the past 40 years.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake hit 1.24 miles east-northeast of West Seneca, N.Y., with a depth of 1.86 miles, around 6:15 a.m.
Although no damage was reported in the U.S., a deadly quake struck Turkey and Syria early the same day. As of Wednesday morning, the 7.8-magnitude quake has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people.
According to the Associated Press, Monday’s quake was the deadliest since 2015. But how likely is it for an earthquake to shake Florida?
It’s extremely rare for the Sunshine State to feel an earthquake, but it isn’t entirely impossible.
“Earthquakes in Florida are extremely rare because there are no active fault zones or plate boundaries,” WFLA Max Defender 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly said. “The closest fault line to Florida runs through the Caribbean Sea, just north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and south of Cuba toward Guatemala.”
“That being said, seismic activity is not impossible in Florida, but if an earthquake does occur near the state, especially in the peninsula, it is not expected to be very strong. According to the United States Geological Survey, there are less than 2 expected number of occurrences of damaging earthquake shaking in 10,000 years in the central peninsula,” Holly continued.
Still, earthquakes have been recorded in Florida as far back in history as 1879.
In 1879, there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake on the border of Putnam and Marion County in North Central Florida. This is the only earthquake recorded over the peninsula on the USGS database.
“There is a small corner in the Panhandle of Florida on the border of Alabama and Florida where a cluster of 17 earthquakes have been recorded since 1997,” Holly said.
Since 1992, there have also been four quakes detected in the south-central Gulf of Mexico. The most recent and most notable was a 5.9 magnitude quake in 2006 that was felt on the west coast of Florida.
Although there hasn’t been a notable quake for nearly 17 years, a rare “weak” earthquake was reported in Florida three years ago.
In 2019, a 2.6 magnitude quake shook part of western Florida around 11:45 p.m. It was centered six miles east of Century, Florida, in Escambia County near the Alabama border.
According to a previous report on WFLA.com, four small earthquakes were documented over a two-day period near the Florida-Alabama border in 2019.