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Another massive explosion off Florida hits 3.9 on Richter scale

It listed it as “experimental explosion” located about 100 miles northeast of Daytona Beach
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This is a breaking news story. Stick with tampabay.com [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 16

ORLANDO — The United States Geological Survey measured another incident off the coast of Florida on Friday that hit 3.9 on the Richter scale.

It listed it as “experimental explosion” located about 100 miles northeast of Daytona Beach. It’s the same rating that happened on June 18 when the Navy set off a test explosion near its new aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

That one came from a 40,000 pound explosive that shook the cameras filming the event, the first of several planned Full Ship Shock Trials.

It’s a new aircraft carrier that’s going through the final steps needed before the Navy can sign off on it to be deployed.

“The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship,” reads a release from the Navy about the trials.

Ahead of the June explosion, the Navy had not performed a test like this on an aircraft carrier since 1987, but has performed them on other smaller ships, although not since 2016.

“Ford’s shock trials are being conducted off the East Coast of the United States, within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area,” reads the Navy statement.

The Navy did not say how many more trials it will perform, but just that they will be off the U.S. East Coast and end later this summer.