Space Coast rumble: Mystery noises as earthquakes strike Florida – Alabama line | Science | News


US seismologists have reported a third consecutive across the Florida-Alabama state line this week. The latest tremor struck on Wednesday, March 13, in the panhandle area at 5.27am GMT (1.27am EST). The quake was traced to a depth of around three miles (4.8km) in Flomaton, Alabama, just north of Century, Florida. Century was the sight of the initial tremor last week – a week magnitude 2.7 quake on Tuesday, March 6.

A second earthquake quickly followed this Monday, March 11, in Flomaton, Alabama.

The Flomaton quake peaked around 3.1 magnitude on the Richter scale.

Adding to the mystery, are claims of a fourth event last Friday, March 8, which left buildings rattling in the early evening hours local time.

Milenka L Smith, a resident of Satellite Beach, initially linked the rumble to a rocket launch nearby.

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She posted on Facebook: “I felt my sliding doors vibrating for a solid two and a half minutes.

“I left my bedroom and I went to the front door to look for a rocket but I thought I might have missed it.”

But there have been no rocket launches on the night and officials at Patrick Air Force Base are equally baffled by the claims.

A spokesman for the military base said: “We’ve been informed that there have been reports of a rumbling noise in the Space Coast area this past Friday.

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“Having checked with our local organisations within the 45th Space Wing, it does not appear to have come from us. So I cannot comment at this time as to its origin”

None of the earthquakes have caused any damage to local infrastructure but the seismic activity in this part of the world is incredibly rare.

There have been reports of “rumbling noise” and shaking in Santa Rosa County through to Merritt Island, Vier and Cocoa.

The US Space Coast, dubbed after NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is one of the least seismically active regions in the US.

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Sometimes known as the Sunshine State, Florida sits on a comfortable bed of limestone and rock which cushions the state from earthquakes.

US Geological Service geologist Paul Earle told Florida Today of the Friday incident: “We looked into this and we didn’t see any evidence of a tectonic earthquake.

“It could have been something that didn’t originate in the ground.

“It could be something like a hypersonic jet, munitions or a sonic boom.

“Unfortunately, we can’t give a definitive answer on exactly what it was.”

The USGS has not recorded any major ground shaking last Friday and the three individual earthquakes are just as rare.

The last major tremor in the area took place in 2006, when a magnitude 6 earthquake struck deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

The earthquake was felt by more than 3,000 people across Florida, from Rockledge to Melbourne.

A strong magnitude 3.7 earthquake hit Daytona Beach in 2016 but the tremor was triggered by US Navy testing and not natural processes.



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