Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A:

Florida's earthquake

Related News/Archive

On last week's earthquake I didn't think Florida had quakes?

The Jan. 9 earthquake, measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale and located just 24 miles north of Coralillo, Cuba, in the Florida Straits, was an unusual (Florida and North Dakota are tied for the states with the least amount of earthquake activity) but not unprecedented occurrence. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was the sixth known earthquake measuring between 3.0 and 5.6 magnitude within 125 miles of that area in the past 75 years.

A spokesperson for the USGS told the Miami Herald that area, about 300 miles from a major fault line between southern Cuba and Hispaniola, is generally "quiet seismically" but also close to several minor faults, collectively called the Nortecubana Fault system.

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

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

Perhaps the strongest earthquake to hit Florida, according to the USGS website, happened in 1879 when a shock hit St. Augustine, just south of Jacksonville, knocking plaster off walls and articles off shelves.

More recently, on Sept, 11, 2006, a 5.8 magnitude quake occurred about 260 miles southwest of Tampa, in the Gulf of Mexico, shaking a wide area but causing no damage.

Naming winter storms

How long have winter storms been named and who decides what the names will be?

The Weather Channel began naming winter storms about one year ago to "better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events," according to Weather.com. The Weather Channel meteorologist Bryan Norcross said on the network's website that the naming system was a "huge success, with well over a billion impressions on Twitter," but many major news outlets, such as the New York Times, didn't use the names in coverage.

That included reporting on Winter Storm Nemo — also called the Blizzard of 2013 — which dumped large amounts of snow across the Northeast and eastern Canada in February. The National Weather Service told its forecasters last year not to use the names.

A Latin class at Bozeman High School in Bozeman, Mont., helped the Weather Channel come up with a list of 26 names that are being used this winter. This year's list: Atlas, Boreas, Cleon, Dion, Electra, Falco, Gemini, Hercules, Ion, Janus, Kronos, Leon, Maximus, Nika, Orion, Pax, Quintus, Rex, Seneca, Titan, Ulysses, Vulcan, Wiley, Xenia, Yona and Zephyr. The Weather Channel named 27 storms last winter.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email answers@tampabay.com.

Q&A: 01/16/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Entrance lanes close on eastbound I-4 in Plant City following semi crash

    Accidents

    An eastbound entrance lane to Interstate 4 is blocked Tuesday morning following a semi crash, according to broadcast reports.

  2. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  3. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  4. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  5. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]